×

WB considering bumping ‘Gangster Squad’

Move would buy time to remove movie-theater scene

Warner Bros. is in serious discussions to boot “Gangster Squad” from its Sept. 7 release date to sometime next year — a move that would buy 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.

In the immediate aftermath of a gunman’s rampage at a “The Dark Knight Rises” screening in Aurora, Colo., 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.

But with just six weeks to go before release, WB is facing the very real possibility that it won’t be able to pull off those changes in time. Sources who have seen the period pic tell Variety that the assault comes during a critical moment in the film and will need to be rewritten and reshot to work within the narrative.

Sources also tell Variety that Warner has already cancelled 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.” The articles by Paul Lieberman chronicled the LAPD’s struggle with increasing crime and corruption in the 1940s by forming the so-called Gangster Squad to keep East Coast mobsters out of L.A.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • David A. Goodman70th Annual Writers Guild

    David Goodman Re-Elected President of Writers Guild of America West

    David Goodman has been convincingly re-elected to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America West, beating Phyllis Nagy in a bitter contest that became a referendum on the guild’s ongoing battle with talent agents. Goodman received 4,395 votes to Nagy’s 1,282 in the election that yielded record turnout among the WGA [...]

  • Issa Rae Portrait

    Issa Rae Developing Re-Imagining of Crime Thriller 'Set It Off'

    “Insecure” star and co-creator Issa Rae is in early development on a re-imagining of New Line’s crime thriller “Set If Off,” which starred Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica Fox and Kimberly Elise. Rae will produce with plans to star in the project. Syreeta Singleton and Nina Gloster have been hired to pen the script. [...]

  • Thomas Golubic8th Annual Guild of Music

    Guild of Music Supervisors President: 'The Economics of the Job Don't Work Anymore'

    The Guild of Music Supervisors (GMS) hosted its 5th annual “State of Music in Media” conference on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Los Angeles Film School. Featuring a wide array of panel discussions on all manner of issues related to music in film, television and advertising, the confab drew top composers, music supervisors, licensing and [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Film News Roundup: Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South' Bought for Awards Season Release

    In today’s film news roundup, the documentaries “Gay Chorus Deep South” and “Tread” find homes, Tobin Bell’s latest horror film completes production and Emilio Insolera joins “355.” ACQUISITIONS MTV Documentary Films has acquired “Gay Chorus Deep South” for release during the fall for awards season consideration. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, the film world premiered [...]

  • Bad Education

    What 'Bad Education' Taught Us About the Slow Toronto Film Festival Market

    “Bad Education,” a dramedy starring Hugh Jackman as the embezzling superintendent of district of schools in Long Island, N.Y., was set to be this year’s “I, Tonya.” The movie has the same biting tone, shifting between comedy and tragedy. It received strong reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival. And like “I, Tonya,” it even [...]

  • For web story

    Toronto: Sony Pictures Classics Buys 'The Burnt Orange Heresy' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sony Pictures Classics has nabbed the rights to “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” Variety has learned. The indie label plans to release the film in 2020. The Italian-American thriller was directed by Giuseppe Capotondi and stars Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland. Scott Smith adapted Charles Willeford’s novel of the same name, transporting [...]

  • Thomasin McKenzie and Essie Davis

    Thomasin McKenzie and Essie Davis to Star in 'Justice of Bunny King'

    Essie Davis, star of “The Babadook” and autumn festival hit “Babyteeth,” and “Jojo Rabbit” co-star Thomasin McKenzie will headline upcoming drama “The Justice of Bunny King.” The film, now shooting in New Zealand, is a triumph over adversity tale about women fighting their way back from the bottom of society. It is the debut feature [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content