‘Bad’ timing means pic shuffle

Schumacher-helmed film pushed back, others unstable

Touchstone Pictures has postponed the release date of its Bruckheimer Films action-comedy “Bad Company,” due to content issues related to last week’s terrorist attacks.

Pic, directed by Joel Schumacher, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock, centers around a black-market nuclear weapon and humorous CIA hijinx.

The tentatively titled “Bad Company,” which originally was called “Black Sheep,” had been slated for wide release sometime in December. Laffer was waiting to be slotted into a specific weekend, with a possible Christmas bow. Pic now has been pushed to an unspecified 2002 release date.

Until the recent tragedies caused distribs to pull a handful of releases, the holiday season had been shaping up as unusually busy.

The holiday season kicks off Nov. 2 with Disney/Pixar’s computer-animated comedy “Monsters, Inc.,” but for many films after that point, things are still in flux.

The Dec. 7 showdown between Sony’s “Ali” biopic and Warner Bros.’ ensemble laffer “Ocean’s Eleven” could be affected. For now, both pics remain committed to that weekend, but it’s possible Sony could push its drama back a week if the shuffling competish makes Dec. 14 more tempting.

‘Gangs’ may move, too

Miramax’s high-profile “Gangs of New York” is rumored to be mulling a move as well. The Martin Scorsese period epic remains slotted for a wide bow Dec. 21, but there is some concern about gritty drama’s heavy subject matter.

A source close to Bruckheimer Films said that prior to last week’s events, Schumacher had intended to make certain changes to “Bad Company” before its year-end bow, but in light of the national crisis, the filmmakers were “looking at the movie with new eyes” and decided it would “not be appropriate for a Christmas release.”

In a statement released Wednesday, Disney confirmed the film had been pushed back “due to the national tragedy,” and said it will be released next year but did not specify when. Sources indicated the new date is likely to be decided once the studio knows what the U.S.’ reaction will be to the attacks.

Schumacher was unavailable for comment, as he is in Ireland scouting locations for Bruckheimer Films’ “The Veronica Guerran Story,” to star Cate Blanchett.

(Charles Lyons in New York contributed to this report.)

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