Immediately following the July 20 shooting spree at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, Warner Bros. pulled the trailers for its star-studded upcoming action-drama Gangster Squad, which—in a chilling echo of the rampage—featured a scene of mobsters bursting through a movie screen and firing machine guns at people seated in a movie theater.
There was widespread speculation that the studio would need to either push back the film’s planned Sept. 7 release date to distance it further from the Aurora shooting or remove the scene from the film entirely. Now a source tells EW that the studio has determined that the movie-theater-gangland-massacre scene will, in fact, either be cut completely or at least extensively reworked.
Unfortunately for the studio and director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), that scene plays a pivotal part in the film’s existing story, which chronicles the 1940s reign of ruthless real-life mobster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) and the efforts of a group of Los Angeles cops (Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, among others) to take him down. For the moment, Warner Bros. has not changed the film’s release date, but cutting or dramatically altering a key scene will inevitably require script revisions and reshoots, which could easily end up delaying the film’s release.