As the dust starts to settle after last night’s shocking and horrific shooting, reports have come in that Warner Bros. executives are considering whether they should cancel screenings of The Dark Knight Rises across the country. Immediately following James Holmes‘ attack on a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the studio yanked the cast out of the public eye and cancelled today’s Paris premiere. Ostensibly they must be worried about copycats showing up at other screenings.
TheWrap reports that Warner Bros. will make their decision sometime later today. As of now, all we’ve heard from the studio is their immediate response to the tragedy: “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.”
My first impulse was to support the idea of taking this weekend off from what was going to be the first wave of The Dark Knight Rises fervor, fans having waited excitedly for months to see Christopher Nolan‘s final Batman film. After all, as Moveline points out, many people simply won’t be in the mood to do something as frivolous as see a movie. However, it’s just as likely that people will yearn for that escapism in the face of such a scary incident. Furthermore, you can’t blame the movie for influencing Holmes in his rampage; ironically, Batman is decidedly anti-guns.
Although Holmes’ motives haven’t yet been determined, it seems pretty clear that he acted alone. He wasn’t part of a terrorist organization; this deranged plan was all in his head. I’d like to think that it was an isolated, albeit horrific, incident, and that Holmes is alone in his strange vendetta against or sick fascination with Batman fans. Police in New York City as well as other cities have promised increased security at movie theaters should Warner Bros. go ahead with screening the film. I think this is the best response: Let people choose whether to go to the theater so soon.
Photo: Warner Bros.