Imagine that the Aurora massacre happened exactly three years earlier — in mid July 2009. And ask yourself what kind of a jam Quentin Tarantino‘s Inglourious Basterds would be in right now with its finale depicting a flaming slaughter inside a Paris movie theatre.
You know that Tarantino and Weinstein Co. chief Harvey Weinstein, who released Basterds on 8.21.09, would be sweating bullets right now. Re-shoot and delay the release date like The Gangster Squad has just done, or hang tough on the presumption that the killing and burning of the Nazi high command in a theatre will be seen as okay because they’re evil fucks who deserve it? I don’t think that would wash.
And by the way, what about the theatre shooting in Bobcat Goldthwaite‘s God Bless America with Joel Murray wiping three or four kids texting or talking on the phone? Different context and satiric intent, of course, but there would still be worries if it was slated to open within the next few weeks or months, I would think. (Thanks to Dave Dubos and a certain director-screenwriter friend for reminding me of these precedents.)