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Warner Bros. grapples with Colo. shooting

By Jake Coyle

AP Entertainment Writer


NEW YORK >> The movie industry grappled with the deadly Colorado shooting at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," as one of the most anticipated films in years became enmeshed with a horrifying tragedy.

The shooting, which killed 12 and left nearly 60 injured in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, reverberated through Hollywood and upended carefully laid plans for the global release of "The Dark Knight Rises." Warner Bros. quickly canceled a premiere planned for Paris and canceled press interviews in France.

"Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident," read a statement from Warner Bros. "We extend our prayers and deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones and those affected by this tragedy."

New York City's police commissioner said he was told the gunman had painted his hair red and called himself the Joker — Batman's nemesis — but Aurora police would not confirm that.

The studio was rushing to react to the tragedy. Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros, said he had been up since 4 a.m. making calls.

"Everybody is very saddened by the event. We were obviously looking for a very happy occasion for us," Fellman said. "It's a difficult way to begin. We're just more concerned now with the well-being of those that were injured, of course."

The studio had no further comment on whether screenings might be canceled, or precautions taken. Director Christopher Nolan and actor Christian Bale did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Warner Bros. did move to pull trailers for its upcoming movie "Gangster Squad" from showings of "The Dark Knight Rises." The trailer of the film, which stars Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling in a ruthless war between '40s Los Angeles police and the mob, includes a scene of mobsters firing into a movie theater from behind the screen.

A person familiar with what was shown at the Aurora theater said the trailer did not play there. The person did not want to be identified because the person was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Cinemark Holdings, Inc., the chain that owns the theater where the shooting happened, said it was working closely with local law enforcement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones, our employees, and the Aurora community," the company said.

Movie theaters around the country continued Friday showings of the film as planned, though some were stepping up security. New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly said the city was providing an extra security in New York theaters playing "The Dark Knight Rises" ''as a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons."

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Holomua wrote:
It was a Republican extremist, inspired by the teachings of Rush Limbaugh about how the movie was anti-Romney.
on July 20,2012 | 08:15AM
Holomua wrote:
(I'm being sarcastic. Calm down)
on July 20,2012 | 08:16AM
iwanaknow wrote:
The chickens have come home to roost
on July 20,2012 | 02:26PM
Manoa_Fisherman wrote:
I tried to watch the Heath Ledger Batman film on TV a couple of months ago, but switched stations because the truely senseless violence portrayed in the movie to put it mildly, totally nuts. I turned the station after 10 minutes of watching this horrendous movie. I can see why the killer in Colorado could fall in to madness to believe this was a character to emulate in real life. As much as I believe in free speech rights, I think Hollywood has a lot to answer for putting such garbage out to the public.
on July 20,2012 | 02:57PM
ski3779 wrote:
If Warner Bros, is real sincere about being sympathetic toward those injured and to the families of those that died, they would cancel all showings of this movie, immediately. Also, bury real deep, that other movie, "Ganster Squad", before another tragedy happens. Movie studios need to get back to making family oriented films. These studios need to remember there are some sickos out there. They, the studios, do not need to pour kerosine onto the fire, by making these kinds of films.
on July 20,2012 | 06:06PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
No kidding. I'm kinda missing the old days. Not enough Mayberry Rural Free Delivery.
on July 20,2012 | 09:50PM
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