Update – 4:20 ET – Variety now confirms reshoots will be scheduled and the theatre shootout sequence will be removed from both future trailers and the film.
If you attended The Dark Knight Rises midnight showings last week, you might remember the impactful trailer for Gangster Squad: a new period actioner directed by Zombieland‘s Rueben Fleischer and starring the likes of Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling. Even with Warner Brothers giving fans their first look at The Man of Steel, I’d still say Squad won the trailer battle. A powerhouse cast, dynamic action, it’s a great introduction to what is hopefully a very meat-and-potatoes gangster flick.
And in one of the worst cases of bad timing I can recall, the trailer (and by extension, the film) showcases a scene where a pack of gangsters fire automatic weapons on unsuspecting theatergoers.
Warner Brothers pulled the trailer immediately, but as of now it’s still available on YouTube (included below). Via the LA Times, we now have word that the WB is discussing the possibilities of both recutting the film and pushing the release date back several months. Reportedly the theatre scene plays a crucial role to the overall film, so cutting the scene and reassembling the narrative will be no easy task.
Warner Brothers finds themselves in a difficult position but, of the two, I’d rather them push back release than move to recut. Of course they could decide to do both, but I don’t see the good in such a reactionary move. If this scene makes you uncomfortable in the face of this senseless tragedy, than it’s your right to not see this film. But artists bending over backwards to react to drastic measures on the part of a very sick individual is wrong. The film is the film and, good or bad, I hope those of us who’d like the opportunity to see it as is will be allowed to do so.
Would it be insensitive to the victims and their families to release the film as is? What measures do you think Warner Brothers should take?