Earlier today, it was reported that 24-year-old gunman James Holmes walked into a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises (clad in body armor and a gas mask) in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire on those in attendance. While there have been conflicting reports as to exactly how this all went down, we do know that 12 people have lost their lives and 59 are injured (some critically). The tragic events led Warner Bros. to consider removing the film from North American theaters this weekend – something they later decided against – with networks taking all adverts for the film off TV and radio. Christopher Nolan, the director of the film, has now issued the following 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.
In an attempt to further distance the film from the tragedy Warner Bros. is removing all references to and images of guns from the trailers to The Dark Knight Rises. TMZ reports that the studio have given the order following the shooting incident in Aurora, Colorado.Sources say that the studio is hoping to get the current TV spots replaced as soon as possible. The studio has not officially commented on the move.