Studio moves pic's release date to Jan. 11

Warner Bros. has bumped back “Gangster Squad” four months from its Sept. 7 release date to Jan. 11.

The move, announced Wednesday evening, gives the studio more time to reconceive and reshoot a pivotal setpiece in which thugs spray machine-gun fire into a crowded movie theater from behind the screen.

The delay for “Gangster Squad” comes five days after a gunman’s rampage at a “The Dark Knight Rises” screening in Aurora, Colo. At that point, the studio pulled trailers — which prominently featured the scene — from exhibs and online.

Variety first reported Sunday that the studio had then decided to remove the scene from the film altogether and was putting reshoot plans into motion. The studio brass then decided Tuesday that they would need to push the fim’s release to next year in order to rewrite and reshoot so that film will still work within the narrative.

Warner has also cancelled upcoming press screenings for “Gangster Squad.”

Production began last fall on the ensembler starring James Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi and Michael Pena. Kevin McCormick and Dan Lin are producing the Will Beall-scripted pic through their respective banners, Langley Park and Lin Pictures.

Project is based on the Los Angeles Times series “Tales From the Gangster Squad,” written by Paul Lieberman and chronicling the LAPD’s struggle with increasing crime and corruption in the 1940s to battle East Coast mobsters.

The only other film set to open on Jan. 11 is Paramount’s fantasy drama “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.”

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