Hollywood's first major reaction to the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado was to announce that Gangster Squad, Ruben Fleischer's period drama about organized crime in Los Angeles, would be reshot to take an eerily similar scene of movie theater violence out of the film. But with the film's release date barely a month away it seemed unlikely that Fleischer would be able to reassemble his mighty cast – Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin among them – in time to make the (allegedly) necessary changes. That turns out to have been the case: the release date for Gangster Squad has now been pushed back four months.
Warner Bros.'s announcement (via Deadline) does raise the question of whether the added distance between the film's release and the shooting deaths in Aurora will nullify concerns about the scene's insensitivity. The Joel Schumacher thriller Phone Booth, about Colin Farrell trapped in the titular contraption with a deadly sniper vowing to shoot him if he exits, was considered too insensitive to release in the wake of the real-life 2002 sniper attacks in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, but its eventual release in April 2003 was met with little controversy, even though the supposedly troublesome plot remained intact. To put it another way, while there's arguably such a thing as "too soon," when does "too soon" end?
We ask you to contribute your thoughts below. Would 2014 be a decent enough length of time to wait to show the original, unchanged Gangster Squad? If not, then when will it be okay in your estimation to portray a scene reminiscent of the real-life tragedy, or at least release the director's cut? Is there a cut-off date at all?
CraveOnline will be back with more Gangster Squad news until at least January, it seems.