Sean Penn’s shoot-em-up movie Gangster Squad is the latest victim of the Aurora, Colo. movie theater massacre. Warner Bros. has pulled the film from rotation to change its grotesque ending. But what should it be?
The ending, previewed in a new trailer last week, shows five men with sub-machine guns raking a movie theater audience with a hail of bullets.
It was a too close for comfort to the Aurora shooting. James Holmes opened fire at a mid-night screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing 12 people and wounding 59 others before he casually strolled from the theater and was arrested.
The “Gangster Squad” trailer was released in May without much fanfare. It was scheduled to run during previews of the Batman movie. But Warner Bros. pulled the clip following the massacre and now is pulling the picture until it can rework the ending.
The film was scheduled to debut in September. Now, it will be released in January 2013, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn and Josh Brolin star in a story loosely based on an East Coast Mafia crime figure who moves to Los Angeles and attempts to corner the market on drugs, prostitution and gambling. An “off-the-books” rogue unit of Los Angeles police detectives is formed to stop them.
The film is rife with violence. Changing the ending still won’t alter the movie’s overall message. Ironically, Mickey Cohen, on whom the movie is loosely based died in his sleep at the age of 62.