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Paramount Pictures has postponed the premiere it planned to hold in Pittsburgh on Saturday for the gritty Tom Cruise thriller Jack Reacher out of respect for the families of the victims of Friday’s Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting.
“Due to the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Conn., and out of honor and respect for the families of the victims whose lives were senselessly taken, we are postponing tomorrow’s Pittsburgh premiere of Jack Reacher,” Paramount said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones.”
VIDEO: ‘Jack Reacher’ Trailer: Tom Cruise Is ‘Not a Hero,’ But Werner Herzog Is the Villain
On Friday morning, gunman Adam Lanza, 20, went on a rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, leaving 26 people dead, including 20 children — many of them kindergartners. Among the dead was school principal Dawn Hochsprung; one teacher was wounded.
Lanza died from “a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” according to police. His mother, Nancy Lanza, was found dead at the residence she shared with her son.
In Jack Reacher, Cruise stars as the mysterious title character, a drifter and former police officer who tries to solve a case involving a hired killer and a shady Russian operative known as “The Zec.” The film, which has received strong reviews, has been noted by critics for its violence. According to THR‘s review of the film, which is set to open Dec. 21, a “disturbing” opening sequence “shows a sniper position himself in a parking garage across the water from Pittsburgh’s baseball stadium” and then methodically gun down “what looks to be five random targets on the riverfront promenade.”
In an address on Friday afternoon, a tearful President Obama urged the country to put politics aside. “We’re going to have to get together and take meaningful action,” he said, adding later, “As a country we have been through this too many times.”
Obama also mentioned recent mass shootings at an Oregon shopping mall and at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. “I will do everything in my power as president to help,” said Obama, who also ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House and elsewhere until Tuesday.
This is not the first time a film studio has canceled the premiere of a movie in the aftermath of a shooting. After James Holmes opened fire at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises at an Aurora theater in July and killed 12 people, Warner Bros. canceled the Paris, Mexico City and Tokyo premieres.
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