The premieres of two high-profile Hollywood films were postponed following the fatal shootings in Connecticut on Friday. The US debut of the new Tom Cruise action movie, Jack Reacher, was due to take place a day later, on Saturday, in Pittsburgh, while the LA premiere of comedy Parental Guidance was also scheduled for Saturday.
Paramount Pictures said it was postponing the Jack Reacher premiere “out of honour and respect for the families of the victims whose lives were senselessly taken”. The studio’s statement continued: “Our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones.” Jack Reacher, based on the series of novels about a former US army military police major by Britain’s Lee Child, opens with a scene in which an expert sniper shoots dead five people in Pennsylvania’s second-largest city. Critics have praised the film, though some noted the film’s focus on violence. The movie is nevertheless rated just PG-13 in the US and 12A in Britain.
Though its comedy is less obviously controversial than Jack Reacher, 20th Century Fox also cancelled the red carpet and after-party festivities for Parental Guidance. The film, which is due to open on Christmas Day in the US and Boxing Day in the UK, stars Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as a married couple who are asked to care for their grandchildren. A studio statement said: “The hearts of all involved with this film go out to the victims, their families, their community and our entire nation in mourning.”
Twenty children, all aged six and seven, and six adults were murdered by 20-year-old Adam Lanza at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday in a massacre that has reignited the debate about US gun control. The killer, who had earlier murdered his mother at their nearby Newtown home, turned the gun on himself after what will go down as the second deadliest school shooting in US history.
The US president, Barack Obama, last night suggested that America’s liberal laws on gun ownership would need to be changed in the wake of the latest massacre, which was carried out using three semi-automatic weapons, including a 223-calibre assault rifle. All the guns were legally owned by Lanza’s mother.
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