After starting life as a project that Warner Bros. was very gung-ho to make, and quickly roping in a cast that includes Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, and Sean Penn, Ruben Fleischer‘s film Gangster Squad is in a difficult position. The movie tells a fictionalized account of LA cops attempting to stop the incursion of organized crime into Los Angeles during the 1940s. Part of the climax of the film features a scene in which mobsters fire at a theater full of moviegoers, shooting out into the auditorium from behind the screen, as pictured in the trailer.

In the wake of the horrific shooting at an Aurora, CO screening of The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Bros. wisely pulled the trailer from theaters last Friday. But the studio is considering taking a more dramatic step: delaying, and potentially even recutting the movie.

Update: Variety announces that Warner Bros. will remove the theater shootout from Gangster Squad, and that the film will undergo some reshoots. Original article follows.

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There are a lot of big, attention-getting films in 2012, and one that I forget about once in a while is Gangster Squad, the film in which Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer follows the efforts of a squad of LA cops (Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie) to stop the incursion of organized crime into LA, led by Sean Penn as famed mob boss Mickey Cohen.

A trailer has just been released for the film, and it looks like a good period cops and robbers story, bolstered by that cast into a level of quality that might let it sit alongside other period LA crime tales such as L.A. Confidential. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

It’s not that Sean Penn never takes roles in lightweight films, but his serious performances can be so commanding — to the point of overbearing, even — that his lighter work is easy to overlook. We once thought he would be among the new Three Stooges, and that didn’t happen. And, the lead in Milk aside (not a light film, but a radiant performance) it’s easy to overlook Penn’s roles in films like What Just Happened and This Must Be the Place.

Now Penn has a new comic role, and one that will probably generate more talk, as he’s in talks to play a supporting role in Ben Stiller‘s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Read More »

Now that Joel Kinnaman is locked for the lead role in José Padilha‘s Robocop reboot, MGM has started looking to fill out the rest of its cast — which of course means the rumor mill has begun churning in earnest. A new story has surfaced claiming that Edward Norton, Gael García Bernal, and Rebecca Hall are circling the project, and that producers are looking to get Sean Penn on board as well. If it’s true, Robocop could be pulling together a very promising cast. More after the jump.

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While half the talk that involves Kristen Wiig of late seems to revolve around whether or not she wants to do a sequel to Bridesmaids (she doesn’t) the actress is moving on to other stuff.

She has already shot Imogene and another indie called Revenge of the Jolly!, and now she’s looking at a role in Ben Stiller‘s remake of the classic comic fantasy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Read More »

I’m still not totally sure what to make of Paolo Sorrentino‘s This Must Be the Place, which has one of the more unusual premises I’ve heard in a while. Sean Penn stars as a retired rock star, still in eyeliner and lipstick, who takes up his recently deceased father’s quest to find and confront the man who tortured him at Auschwitz. The first photos we saw looked pretty strange, the last trailer was intriguing, and reviews from the film festival circuit so far have been mixed.

Now a new trailer has been released which covers much of the same ground as the previous one, but includes some new footage as well. I think Penn also sounds a tad more intelligible this time around, though perhaps I’m just getting used to his mumbling. Watch it after the jump.

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We’ve already had the chance to ooh and ahh over most of the Sundance Film Festival 2012 slate earlier this month, but with weeks to go until the festival four latecomers have just been announced. There are a few last-minute additions every year; last year’s included Miranda July’s The Future, while 2010′s included Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right.

This year, we have the intriguingly titled sci-fi John Dies at the End; This Must Be the Place, starring Sean Penn as an aging rock star; Jesse Eisenberg and Melissa Leo‘s new comedy Predisposed; and the Norwegian drama Oslo, August 31st. Read the descriptions after the jump.

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After quite a few set pictures showed up from the LA shoot of Ruben Fleischer‘s Gangster Squad, we’ve now got the first official promo photo for the film, showing Josh Brolin as an LA cop staring down Sean Penn as famed LA gangster Mickey Cohen. There’s not a lot to the pic — it’s two actors in era-appropriate suits with a lot of color correction — but their specific poses and positioning does tell us something about the characters, and the image looks good in general. See a full version below. Read More »

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