Warner Bros. Pictures has yanked its trailer for the new Ryan Gosling film "Gangster Squad," which contains a movie theater shooting scene, hours after a gunman killed at least 12 people at a midnight screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Colorado.
The clip was released online in May and had already been played at theaters for several weeks. Warner Bros. Pictures is the distributor of both "The Dark Knight Rises," director Christopher Nolan's third Batman film that opened at more than 3,700 venues across the United States early on Friday morning, and "Gangster Squad," which is set for release in September.
"The trailer has been pulled completely from theaters," a Warner Bros. Pictures spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com.
"Gangster Squad" depicts the Los Angeles police department's fight against the East Coast Mafia in the 1940s and 1950s and stars Emma Stone as Gosling's love interest. In one scene in the trailer, five men open fire at a movie theater, aiming at the screen itself, while audience members run for cover (watch the trailer for "Gangster Squad" here).
The clip was cleared for screenings about 30 percent of theaters in the United States, according to Deadline, which added that a revised trailer for "Gangster Squad" would be released in its place. The Warner Bros. Pictures spokesperson declined comment about the matter and also would not say whether or not the scene would remain in the movie itself.
The attack in Aurora, Colorado, was one of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States. In addition to the 12 confirmed dead, at least 59 people were treated for injuries. A 3-month-old baby was reportedly among the wounded.
The shooting suspect was arrested and identified as James Eagan Holmes, a 24-year-old University of Colorado graduate student.
Police and witnesses said he wore a gas mask and bullet-proof vest when he hurled a gas canister into the theater and opened fire on moviegoers, which included many parents with children. "The Dark Knight Rises" features a new villain, Bane, who wears a Hannibal Lecter-like mask and armored chest cover.
Holmes sports dyed hair and told authorities he was the Batman villain The Joker, federal law enforcement sources told ABC News. The character, a psychopathic killer with clown makeup and green hair, was played by Heath Ledger in Nolan's second Batman movie, "The Dark Knight."
"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," Warner Bros. said in an earlier statement.
Following the shooting, the studio canceled its "Dark Knight Rises" premiere in Paris as well as media interviews that cast members such as Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway and Morgan Freeman were set to give in the French capital. Warner Bros. Pictures is also pulling two ads for the movie, according to the Bloomberg news wire.
Several U.S. theater chains, including AMC, said additional security measures have been put in place in wake of the shooting. The latter company has also banned face-concealing masks and fake weapons inside its facilities.
"I would say that the violence that takes place is less-intense than the 'Dark Knight,'" he said. "My kids have seen it, but they've seen a lot of what goes into it, so they may not be the perfect test case."
"I think personally, parents have to make a decision based on their child and the level of intensity they think their child is up for," he added. "It really is an intense ride, but I think it's one that a lot of kids will enjoy if their parents are comfortable with it."
"The Dark Knight Rises," one of the most anticipated films of the year, has already made $10.4 million overseas and an estimated $30 million in the United States since its release. Warner Bros. has said the movie will be released in its various venues as scheduled.