Gangster Squad to remove cinema shootout sequence
According to reports Warner Bros. is going to edit out a scene from the upcoming film Gangster Squad where gunmen shoot through the rear of a cinema screen into the audience obviously in reaction to the events of recent weeks in Colorado.
The scene is expected to be removed from the film and any future trailers however according to the reports the scene is a rather pivotal part in the film so there will have to be reshoots to replace this entire sequence.
While I don't agree with cancelling premieres of screenings or removing scenes of buildings from films because of the atrocious actions of mentally unstable people and/or terrorist actions which are designed not only to kill people but also to raise fear and gather publicity for themselves, I am in two minds about the editing out of this sequence.
I can understand that watching the scene could be upsetting for people, however if they are well warned and informed that this was filmed before the events and not because of them and is integral to the story would it be such a terrible thing? Perhaps for the studio because intelligent people who don't want to see it will simply stay away and that would hurt box office takings and if these people are vocal about the scenes, which undoubtedly they would be, then it could hurt the reputation of the film and the studio.
For film fans it's a little bit of a blow because in the trailer the sequence looked very powerful and, according to the Variety report through JoBlo it was a rather key part of the film. However in context I don't think that the location is critical to the story, perhaps the actions are and so it could be filmed in another location, but as of now it would appear that the location is not critical to the film. Note however that Warner Bros. has refused to comment on the alleged action and this comes through Variety sources.
I do believe that following any violent attack there are two things that allow those who perpetrated the attack to feel like they have achieved some of their goals. One is publicity focussing on those behind the attack, and the other is the disruption of day to day life, much more the change of daily life forever.
This is one reason why I think it's wrong of the media to continually follow the clearly mentally unhinged individual behind the recent attack, and it's wrong to cancel events planned around a film which happened to be showing in the cinema where the attack took place - perhaps it would have more positive effect to cancel production of the weapons they used that day - however I am already straying into far too political territory for a film site.
I do find it harder to argue the issue of the scene in Gangster Squad. While it was written and filmed well before this tragic attack and the film is based on a real story of a very violent time, although it is not clear if this actual event took place in history, it would be hard to watch that scene without thinking of the attack in Aurora, Colorado.
So the Gangster Squad film appears to be undergoing some reshoots and potentially a little rewrite to either remove this scene altogether or move it to another location. I would think that the studio will try and remove it altogether however in a film about such a violent time with such violent acts it's hard to see how they could. The rest of the film will be just as, if not more violent.
Have they made the right decision? Should Warner Bros. remove the sequence altogether?