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Los Angeles Times, Published July 20 2012

‘Dark Knight Rises’ ads pulled from TV after shooting

LOS ANGELES — Broadcast and cable channels across the country, including NBC, CBS and ESPN, scrambled Friday to remove advertising for “The Dark Knight Rises” following a shooting at a late-night screening of the film in Colorado.

The advertisements were being pulled from national and local programs on broadcast and cable stations, according to people familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly.

Earlier Friday, Warner Bros. discussed what to do about a key scene — involving a bloodbath at a movie theater — in its next big film, “Gangster Squad.”

The noir film starring Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling centers on the Los Angeles Police Department’s secret 1940s anti-mob gangster squad.

One of the film’s signature scenes is set at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, when mobsters go backstage and open fire through the screen at the audience. Automatic gunfire rips through the screen as horrified filmgoers rush for the exits and the cops try to stop the mayhem.

The movie is set for release Sept. 7, and trailers for the film including snippets of the scene have already been playing.

A source close to Warner Bros. who was not authorized to speak publicly said the studio has pulled its trailers for “Gangster Squad” from all theaters. The source said that the trailer had not played before the screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo., where the shooting happened.

Whether the studio will take any steps to remove or shorten the scene from the film itself remains to be seen.