Warner Bros. may bump Gangster Squad to 2013

In case you’ve been living in a cave in Jakarta for the past month, a quick recap: On July 20, a man named James Holmes allegedly forced his way into a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and opened fire, killing 12 and injuring 58 others. In the wake of the shooting media outlets, pundits and film studios have been scrambling to figure out why this happened and who should take the blame. Above all however, they’ve all been working diligently to appear sensitive to the tragedy, and in that vein Warner Bros. made the decision to excise a scene from its upcoming movie Gangster Squad that features a mass shooting within a movie theater.

That seemed a reasonable plan, but this scene was rather important to the film’s plot, and after a few days of looking things over Warner Bros. has decided that removing the scene will necessitate a number of reshoots and a big delay in the flick’s release date. JoBlo offers a comprehensive list of all the work Warner would have to put into the film:

The sort of reshoots necessary to write, shoot, and edit what is, in effect, a new ending and the build up to said ending will simply take far too much time to do.  And that doesn’t even include how long it might take to re-assemble a crew that includes hot director Ruben Fleischer and equally hot (he’s writing JUSTICE LEAGUE) writer Will Beall and a large cast that includes Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick, Giovanni Ribisi,  And beyond even just gathering the cast and crew once again, Warner Bros also has to consider if and when they would all be available to do press for GANGSTER SQUAD.

As a result, it seems that the film, which was originally scheduled for release in September of this year, will be hitting theaters no earlier than January 2013. JoBlo claims that January 13 is the date Warner Bros. is hoping to hit, though with this amount of work left to do there are a thousand reasons it could slip and require another official release delay.

On the upside, this gives executives at Warner a chance to reconsider the movie’s title. Yes, it’s a film about a squad that actively pursues gangsters, but isn’t “Gangster Squad” a bit on the nose? There’s no creativity there, just a rote descriptor of the group the film centers on. At least The Untouchables offered a mildly poetic perspective on why you should be entranced by its characters. They’re untouchable, so while they also track down gangsters, you know that you’re going to see some larger-than-life heroics from characters who are so virtuous that they simply can’t be corrupted by the institutionalized evil around them. “Gangster Squad,” by comparison, indicates that the characters will hunt down gangsters, but why should we care? C’mon Warner, you can do better than that.

Update: A few hours after this piece went live Warner Bros. made it official: Gangster Squad will hit theaters on January 11, 2013. 

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