(WARNING: The above video contains violent content that may be disturbing to some viewers in the wake of today’s events. Use discretion when watching.)
Warner Brothers has pulled the preview for the upcoming movie Gangster Squad after a gunman opened fire on a crowded movie theater during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises on Friday, killing 12. The movie trailer, which was showing before many screenings of The Dark Knight Rises, portrayed an eerily similar scene.
A scene from the trailer (at the 2:03 minute mark in the above video) features four men in trench coats standing behind a movie screen, shooting into the audience. The men then walk through the holes created by the gunfire in the screen and continue firing into the crowd. The plot of the upcoming film, which stars Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, and Sean Penn, pits cops against gangsters in 1940s Los Angeles and, judging from the trailer, features a lot of violence. A spokesperson for Warner Brothers (who, like TIME, is owned by Time Warner) confirmed the decision to pull the trailer, speaking to NBC News on Friday.
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Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood, who wrote that she complained about the trailer to Warner Bros. on Friday morning, reports that a distribution executive instructed the studio to replace the Gangster Squad trailer “as soon as possible,” and by 6 a.m. — just five hours after the Colorado shooting — Warner Brothers had begun notifying theater circuits of the change. The studio has announced that a new trailer without the movie theater shooting scene will take the place of the old trailer within a week. It appears that both Apple and YouTube have also pulled the trailer from their sites, as Michael van Poppel of BNO News reported in a tweet.
According to AP reports, a person familiar with what was shown at the theater said the trailer did not play before the Dark Knight Rises screening in Aurora where the real-life massacre took place. The person wished to remain anonymous because he or she was not authorized to speak officially on the matter. In the wake of the shooting in Colorado, the NYPD has said it will step up its security at Dark Knight Rises showings. Security is expected to be increased at theaters across the country.
NBC noted that this is not the first time in the recent past that a trailer has been changed after an unexpected tragedy. 2oth Century Fox altered the name of the film “Neighborhood Watch” to “The Watch” after Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who was acting as his community’s Neighborhood Watch volunteer at the time of that shooting.
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