Before Warner Bros. prepares to roll out “Gangster Squad,” which was pulled after the Aurora, Co. shootings because it had an eerily similar shootout scene in a movie theater, another violent tragedy in Newtown, Conn. hit the headlines the day before the film’s Los Angeles press conference.
As the movie’s star Josh Brolin told reporters, “Of course there’s a sensitivity,” when putting out a film with so much gun violence. The actor, who says he’s “not a gun guy” in real life, said that shooting tommy guns in the film is “kind of fun but at the same time it’s very serious. We’ve had a lot of things come up lately that make it very serious.”
Director Ruben Fleischer called the Aurora shooting “an unspeakable tragedy” and told Moviefone that redoing the theater shootout sequence in the film was the “appropriate and responsible thing to do.” However, he added that it’s not his decision if it ever shows up on the DVD. “You don’t want it out there if it is going to be hurtful to people.” Brolin weighed in: “I don’t think it’s an issue. Should we go find shootings that parallel other shootings in film just because that shooting happened in life? Not necessarily. I don’t see any reason to do that.”
The scene that replaced the theater sequence now takes place in Chinatown. “I truly believe this, as opposed to bullsh*tting you that I have to say this, I think it’s a better sequence than what was there in the beginning,” Brolin said. “Out of respect for the families, I understand why Warner Bros. made the decision… The fact that that happened and that exists in the movie, it’s just too similar. So I agreed with the choice. Not everybody agreed, but I totally agreed with the choice.”
As to whether parallels should even be made between violence in movies and in real life, Fleischer told Moviefone, “For me, movies are entertainment and that’s the role they shoud fill. I think there’s an escapist element to it. I think a movie should function to be entertaining and I think this movie’s very entertaining.”
You can read more from our interviews with Brolin and Fleischer closer to the film’s January 11, 2013 release date.