EXCLUSIVE … UPDATE 9:30 AM: Warner Bros is now telling me that its outside non-studio spokeswoman failed to tell me the whole and accurate story about the process that led to the studio taking down its offensive Gangster Squad trailer this morning. A Warner Bros executive now tells me how the studio was scrambling to deal with the Aurora theater shooting crisis in the pre-dawn hours of the morning. Then, at 5 AM, one of the top distribution execs remembered that Warner Bros’ Gangster Squad trailer was playing “loose” this weekend timed to the studio’s The Dark Knight Rises release in about 30% of domestic theaters. (“Loose” means that theaters had been asked to play the trailer which was not paired with The Dark Knight Rises.)
According to Warner Bros, this distribution exec suddenly remembered that the trailer for the mob movie contained a scene showing a gangster with a machine gun shooting up people in a movie theater from behind the big screen. This distribution exec quickly instructed the studio to “replace it as soon as possible”. At 6 AM, Warner Bros started notifying the theater circuits to pull the offensive Gangster Squad trailer. That is being done all over North America today. Meanwhile, Warner Bros’ marketing department is scrambling to get out its second-generation Gangster Squad trailer already in the works. This new trailer, without the movie theater scene, will be swapped out for the offensive one within a week. Warner Bros says this is now the whole story.
And the studio’s explanation which I absolutely believe also makes clear that, while my phone calls overlapped with their behind-the-scenes process, I was not responsible for the studio pulling the offensive Gangster Squad trailer with the movie theater shooting scene.
PREVIOUS 7:30 AM: This was truly terrible decision-making by Warner Bros – both to release a trailer like this and then not to pull it immediately after today’s tragedy. I have confirmed that the studio which released The Dark Knight Rises paired offered it with the official movie trailer for Gangster Squad, an upcoming pic set in 1949 about a ruthless Mafia Godfather who runs Los Angeles. One of the scenes in the trailer that’s been playing all morning today shows a gangster with a machine gun shooting up people in a movie theater from behind the big screen. Several outraged moviegoers tipped me to this scene. Read More »
Brian Ross hinted at a possible link this morning on Good Morning America. The shooting suspect’s name is Jim Holmes and there is “a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado page on the Colorado Tea Party site… talking about him joining the Tea Party last year.” Ross warned that “we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.” Afterward the news unit said that the linkage was “incorrect” according to web site Politico, but it added: “Several other local residents with similar names were also contacted via social media by members of the public who mistook them for the suspect.” ABC News said in a story on its website that it and Ross “apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.”
President Obama made his comments in a brief appearance this morning in Ft. Myers, Fla., before cutting short the visit to return to the White House. He learned about the Aurora murders at 5:26 AM ET in a call from his Adviser for Homeland Security, John Brennan, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says. FBI Director Bob Mueller, Chief of Staff Jack Lew and Brennan provided a follow-up briefing. Obama spoke with the mayor of Aurora. Carney said that there’s no word yet as to whether the President will stop at Aurora this weekend on his way to a California visit on Monday. Mrs. Obama has also cancelled her appointments. Here’s the transcript of the President’s remarks:
Related: President Obama And Mitt Romney Respond To Theater Shooting
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Here’s the statement from the exhibition company that owns the theater where the murders took place:
Cinemark is deeply saddened about this tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones, our employees, and the Aurora community. We are grateful for the quick and professional reaction of all local law enforcement and emergency responders. Cinemark is working closely with the Aurora Police Department and local law enforcement.
Here’s the official statement from MPAA chief Chris Dodd:
“We share the shock and sadness of everyone in the motion picture community at the news of this terrible event. We extend our prayers and deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones and all those affected by this tragedy.”
Here’s the statement from President Obama:
Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my Administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded. As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come.
And here’s the one from Mitt Romney:
Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more. We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.
Related: 12 Dead, 50 Wounded, At Colorado Movie Theater Showing ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ At Midnight; Shooting Suspect In Custody
AURORA POLICE DEPARTMENT
DATE: July 20, 2012
CONTACT: Officer Frank Fania, PIO (303)739-6022
NATURE: Theater Shooting
CASE NUMBER: 12-28181
Aurora, Colo. – Aurora Police are investigating a shooting at the Century 16 Movie Theater, located at 14300 E Alameda Ave, involving approximately 50 victims with at least 12 confirmed dead. On July 20, 2012, at about 12:39 a.m., police received numerous calls of the shooting. Officers arrived on scene moments after the first calls and arrested one party at the rear of the theater.
Police were told the suspect “appeared” at the front of one of the theaters, threw some type of gas or explosive device and started shooting.
When the suspect was arrested, police recovered one rifle, one handgun and a gas mask. A third gun is still inside the theater. The suspect is an adult male Aurora resident in his early twenties. He offered no resistance when he was arrested. At this time, the police have no evidence that any additional suspects were involved other than the person arrested.
The Police Department can confirm that 12 persons are deceased, with the bodies of 10 victims still at the crime scene inside the theater. At least two more victims died at area hospitals. The Police Department previously released a preliminary number of 14 dead, but only 12 can be confirmed at this time. Approximately 50 total persons were shot, including the deceased.
Victims were transported to at
… Read More »
UPDATE: It turns out that Time Warner sent Deadline its Warner Bros statement before Christopher Nolan had a chance to vet it. Therefore the studio has issued Deadline a new statement making clear that “Warner Bros and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about the shocking” Aurora movie theater shooting. The studio just cancelled tonight’s The Dark Knight Rises movie premiere in Paris as well as for all French press interviews for director Christopher Nolan and stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, and Morgan Freeman (who have not commented on the tragedy). Here’s the new Warner Bros’ and filmmakers’ statement:
“Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this
shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”
BREAKING… 4TH UPDATE: Local Aurora Police in Colorado just confirmed they have the shooting suspect in custody. Police now say 14 12 people were killed and more than 50 people have been wounded. They all were injured after a mass shooting at a suburban Colorado movie theater at the Aurora Town Center where The Dark Knight Rises was showing just after midnight. Local TV stations KUSA and KMGH said a lone gunman attired in protective gear opened fire with guns and teargas in the packed Century 16 Movie Theater, and moviegoers at first thought it was part of the film’s action sequences. One moviegoer told the TV anchor he heard “10 to 20 shots”. Some moviegoers are telling local TV stations about horrific details and bloody scenes inside Theater 9. Police told TV stations the shooting was first reported at 12:39 AM after the 24-year-old male shooter ”just appeared” from the front of the theater. Then police arrived and found the suspect in the rear of the theater near where he’d parked his car. He didn’t resist arrest and had a rifle and two other guns when he was taken into custody.
Related: Aurora Police Department Describes ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Shooting Events
There are many conflicting reports when it comes to actual confirmed events that occurred. It is a very real possibility this terrifying tragedy may affect The Dark Knight Rises‘ opening box office today and this weekend. “Not what you expect to happen when … Read More »