"Jack Reacher,” the latest Tom Cruise action film, was supposed to premiere Saturday in Pittsburgh, but the opening was postponed after the mass shooting Friday in Newtown, Conn.
“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 cited by the Hollywood Reporter on Friday, hours after the school massacre. “Our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones.”
“Jack Reacher” presumably had its opening postponed because of its bloody content. The movie opens with a violent scene set in downtown Pittsburgh in which a sniper “methodically gun[s] down what looks to be five random targets,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Cruise’s character Jack Reacher then comes in to investigate the murders and unravel the mystery behind them.
Presumably, the opening scene featuring several civilians being killed in a highly public location was found to hit too close to home after the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. On Friday, suspected shooter Adam Lanza, after allegedly shooting and killing his mother at home, broke into the elementary school, where he shot and killed 20 children and six adults before taking his own life.
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While the “Jack Reacher” premiere was postponed, the film’s general release date has not been moved. “Jack Reacher” hits theaters on Dec. 21.
At the same time “Jack Reacher” was postponed, Fox declined to air two episodes of the animated comedies “Family Guy” and “American Dad.” Although the network has not made an official statement about the two television shows, it is presumed the episodes made light of gun violence in a way that would be seen as insensitive so close to the Newtown school shooting.
This is not the first high-profile mass shooting have an impact on a movie's rollout this year. In July, a lone gunman, James Holmes, purportedly killed 12 people at the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” at a theater in Aurora, Colo. Holmes also wounded 58 others at the scene.
In the wake of that shooting, director Christopher Nolan and stars Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway canceled several live appearances promoting the production.