July 20: The Dark Knight Rises Denver shooting. (Image: Catwoman poster.) A masked man reportedly shot dead ten people and wounded approximately 40 others at a movie theater showing The Dark Knight Rises in the Denver suburb of Aurora. He also set off a smoke or tear gas bomb in the theater. (Other sources claim 14 dead, while others yet have reported about 20 injured and an unknown number of fatalities.) As per NBC News, a suspect is in custody.
The Dark Knight Rises was one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of the year. According to one – unconfirmed – report, the man was angry because the movie was sold out. What sort of mask the murderer was wearing is unclear at this stage. Several characters in Nolan's Batman movies wear masks, including Tom Hardy's terrorist Bane and Anne Hathaway's Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, Heath Ledger's The Joker in The Dark Knight, and Christian Bale's Batman himself. Update: More recent reports state that the man was dressed in black and wearing a gas mask. Bane wears one in The Dark Knight Rises.
Not far from Aurora is Littleton, the setting of the 1999 Columbine massacre. Michael Moore's Oscar-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine discusses the issue of gun madness in the United States.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, and written by the director and his brother Jonathan Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Morgan Freeman.
The Dark Knight Rises Catwoman poster: Warner Bros.
The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan statement about Denver shooting. The Dark Knight Rises director and co-screenwriter Christopher Nolan (photo) has issued a statement about the early Friday massacre in the Denver suburb of Aurora.
Twelve people died and 60 others were injured after a gunman started shooting indiscriminately inside a packed theater showing Nolan's third and final installment in the Batman movie franchise. Here's Christopher Nolan's statement:
“Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.”
James Holmes alleged TDKR gunman
A 24-year-old man, James Holmes, is the alleged gunman. According to reports, at the time of the shooting the University of Colorado Denver neuroscience grad student was sporting dyed-red hair and said he was “The Joker,” the character played by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.
According to reports, Holmes was wearing a gas mask. Though reminiscent of the mask worn by the terrorist Bain in The Dark Knight Rises, Holmes may have donned the mask to protect himself, as he also set off gas bombs inside the theater.
In addition to an assault rifle, Holmes had with him a shotgun and two pistols. He also wore a helmet and a bulletproof vest. It's unclear at this stage how the madman was able to acquire all that weaponry.
Speaking of the Aurora / The Dark Knight Rises shooting during a interview on a right-wing radio show, Republican congressman Louie Gohmert (Texas) declared earlier today: “You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place.”
Gohmert later added: “It does make me wonder, with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?”
Aurora near Columbine massacre town
Aurora is located about 35 km (21 miles) from Littleton, the site of the 1999 Columbine school massacre. In 2003, Michael Moore won an Oscar for Bowling for Columbine, a documentary about the deadly American obsession with guns.
According to the 2007 Small Arms Survey by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies, that year there were 90 guns for every 100 Americans. U.S. residents owned 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms. In other words, nearly one in three firearms on Earth were to be found in the United States.
The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, Tom Hardy as Bane, Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Morgan Freeman. The director's brother, Jonathan Nolan, co-wrote the screenplay, which he says was inspired by Charles Dickens' classic novel of the French Revolution A Tale of Two Cities.
Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight Rises photo: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.
The Dark Knight Rises Colorado shooting Christian Bale statement. Christian Bale, Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman in the Christopher Nolan-directed movie trilogy, has issued a brief statement regarding the shooting in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colorado, at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on Friday, July 20. Here is Bale's statement:
“Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them.”
Colorado shooting worst in U.S. history
Twelve people were killed and 58 others were injured at the TDKR screening. Several of the surviving victims are in critical condition. In sheer number of victims (including the injured), the Colorado shooting was the largest of its kind in U.S. history.
James Holmes, who reportedly claimed he was The Joker, has been arrested in connection to the mass killings. The 24-year-old from Riverside, California, had bought four weapons – an assault rifle, a shotgun, and two handguns – at local gun shops. In the past two months, Holmes had also bought more than 60,000 rounds of ammunition online. Additionally, he booby-trapped his apartment with explosives.
Holmes' mother, a San Diego woman, reportedly remarked she was “not surprised” when she learned of her son's actions. It's unclear whether or not she had previously alerted authorities that her son was an unbalanced, potentially dangerous individual. Neighbors described the man as “shy” and belonging to a churchgoing family.
Speaking of the The Dark Knight Rises Colorado shooting, a Republican congressman from Texas, Louie Gohmert, implied that the mass murder was the result of attacks on the United States' Judeo-Christian traditions and wondered why no one else in the TDKR audience was carrying a gun to defend themselves. U.S. president Barack Obama, for his part, offered the usual platitudes. Some groups, however, have already begun pushing for tougher gun control laws, though in the gun-worshiping United States such demands have led to few concrete results.
Colorado: recent site of another deadly shooting spree
Only about 30 km (20 miles) from Aurora is the town of Littleton, the setting of another mass murder in 1999. Bowling for Columbine, filmmaker Michael Moore's 2002 documentary about the killings and Americans' passion for weaponry, won the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award in early 2003.
Directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, Tom Hardy as the mad terrorist Bane, Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, and Matthew Modine. Jonathan Nolan co-wrote the screenplay, which features elements inspired by Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.
“THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Shooting: Christian Bale Statement” / Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne picture: Ron Phillips / Warner Bros.
The Dark Knight Rises shooting: Anne Hathaway statement. Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises' Catwoman, has issued a statement about the early Friday Colorado shooting. In the Denver suburb of Aurora, a masked gunman opened fire inside a theater showing The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. Including the injured, that's reportedly the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Hathaway told ETonline in a statement: “My heart aches and breaks for the lives taken and altered by this unfathomably senseless act. I am at a loss for words how to express my sorrow. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
Elsewhere, a former Republican Congressman from Arizona, Russell Pearce, blamed the victims and gun-control laws for the Colorado massacre. Pearce wrote the following: “Where were the men of flight 93???? Someone should have stopped this man. Someone could have stopped this man. Lives were lost because of a bad man, not because he had a weapon, but because noone [sic] was prepared to stop it. Had they been prepared to save their lives or lives of others, lives would have been saved. All that was needed is one courages [sic]/brave man prepared mentally or otherwise to stop this could have been done.”
Pearce later said his statement was “mischaracterized” by the media, and claimed he was blaming only “anti-gun rules.” Now, bear in mind that this man was actually elected to the U.S. Congress. People actually voted for him.
Recommended reading: The Onion article “Sadly, Nation Knows Exactly How Colorado Shooting's Aftermath Will Play Out.” The piece ends thus:
“Unfortunately, I've been through this a lot, and I pretty much have it down to a science when President Obama will visit Colorado, when he will meet with the families of those who lost loved ones, and when he will give his big speech that people will call 'unifying' and 'very presidential,'” Jacksonville resident Amy Brennen, 32, said, speaking for every other person in the country. “Nothing really surprises me when it comes to this kind of thing anymore. And that makes me feel terrible.”
“Oh, and here's another thing I hate I know,” Brennen continued, “In exactly two weeks this will all be over and it will be like it never happened.”
The Dark Knight Rises Colorado shooting may lead to Gangster Squad delay, cuts. (Image: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Gangster Squad.) The release of Ruben Fleischer's Gangster Squad may be delayed as a result of the early Friday, July 20, shooting spree at a screening of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises in the Denver suburb of Aurora. A lone gunman killed twelve people and left around 60 others injured.
Gangster Squad distributor Warner Bros., the same studio behind The Dark Knight Rises, is considering moving the film's release date, according to the Los Angeles Times. Reason: the period crime drama features a scene in which gangsters fire into a movie theater. In fact, according to the Times' unnamed sources, the studio is considering going as far as trimming or even deleting the scene altogether. Gangster Squad is currently scheduled to open on September 7.
Gangster Squad trailer yanked
Gangster Squad trailers featuring the climactic movie-theater shootout have already been pulled from theaters, TV, and online video sites.
In case Warner Bros. decides to recut Gangster Squad, there are precedents for that. For instance, about ten years ago, Sam Raimi / Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man was released minus a shot of the World Trade Center. Also as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Jennifer Westfeldt / Heather Juergensen's romantic comedy Kissing Jessica Stein had the two towers digitally removed from the film.
Gangster Squad cast
The Gangster Squad cast includes Men in Black III's Josh Brolin, Drive's Ryan Gosling, The Amazing Spider-Man's Emma Stone, three-time Oscar nominee Nick Nolte, The Hurt Locker's Anthony Mackie, Avatar's Giovanni Ribisi, The Dark Knight Rises' Josh Pence (as Daryl Gates, the Los Angeles chief of police at the time of the L.A. riots in the early '90s), Mireille Enos, Michael Peña, Robert Patrick, Frank Grillo, and two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk) as mobster Mickey Cohen. Will Beall is credited for the adaptation of Paul Lieberman's book.
Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Gangster Squad photo: Warner Bros.
Aug. 7 update
The Dark Knight Rises screening: man with gun, ammunition arrested. (Image: TDKR Batman poster.) Perhaps there's something about Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises that attracts psychos with guns. Or perhaps there are always psychos carrying weapons into movie theaters in the gun crazy United States (and possibly elsewhere). They're just being noticed more often following the Colorado shooting three weeks ago that left 12 people dead and nearly 60 injured.
Anyhow, cleveland.com reports that on Monday night a(n unidentified) man in the Cleveland, Ohio, area was arrested for having brought a gun, ammunition, and “several knives” to a 10 p.m. Saturday screening of The Dark Knight Rises. Suspicious of the satchel-carrying man, the movie-theater manager alerted an off-duty police officer working as a security guard. It's unclear why the man was arrested at his home two days after the incident.
The Dark Knight Rises cast
The Dark Knight Rises' stars Oscar winner Christian Bale (The Fighter) as Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman, Oscar nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married) as Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman, Tom Hardy as the mad terrorist Bane, Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) as Miranda Tate, two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters, The Cider House Rules), Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby), Oscar nominee Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Matthew Modine, and Tom Conti.
Director Christopher Nolan co-wrote the TDKR screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan, who has said that the movie's setting was inspired by Charles Dickens' novel of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities.
“Man with Gun, Ammunition Arrested Following Screening of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES” TDKR Batman poster: Warner Bros.