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Hollywood continued to rejigger its publicity plans for holiday releases Monday in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Paramount has decided to make several tweaks to the marketing materials for Jack Reacher, the gritty crime-action pic starring Tom Cruise as a hard-boiled former military cop trying to prove that an alleged sniper was framed. The film opens Friday.
The studio wouldn’t officially say what the changes are, but a source confirmed that a scene of Cruise’s character firing off a semi-automatic weapon is being cut from promotional spots.
Jack Reacher, rated PG-13 and opening with sniper fire, isn’t the only Christmas movie laced with violence.
Django Unchained, opening Christmas Day, is directed by Quentin Tarantino, known for his over-the-top violence. The R-rated Django stars Jamie Foxx as a slave promised his freedom if he helps a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz ) track down a plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio).
On Monday, The Weinstein Co. announced it was cancelling Tuesday night’s Django premiere in Los Angeles because of the school tragedy.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., and in this time of national mourning we have decided to forgo our scheduled event,” the company said in a statement, adding that it would still hold a screening for cast and crew.
At a junket for Django on Saturday in New York, Tarantino said he is weary of defending the violence in his movies.
“I just think there’s violence in the world. Tragedies happen,” the filmmaker said. “[Django} is a Western. Give me a break.”
Foxx, however, said Hollywood can’t “ignore” that violence in movies has an impact. And this summer, Harvey Weinstein, an advocate for gun control, called for a summit on violence in film after the Aurora theater shooting during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
In scrubbing the Django premiere, The Weinstein Co. was following the cue of Paramount, which postponed Saturday’s planned Jack Reacher premiere in Pittsburgh (the event has been rescheduled for Wednesday).
The Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City also postponed a special screening of Jack Reacher on Monday night that was to be accompanied by a discussion with Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie, saying it was doing so out of respect for the families of the victims.
The Weinstein Co. declined to say whether it was changing its marketing materials for Django in the wake of the shooting.
On Sunday, Warner Bros. used NFL football to advertise its upcoming period pic Gangster Squad. The spot was heavy on gunfire.
Gangster Squad was supposed to open in September, but the studio pushed back the release after the Colorado shootings in order to remove a scene depicting a gunfight in a movie theater.
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