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With Hollywood studios again under scrutiny for making violent movies, Paramount Pictures canceled Saturday’s premiere in Pittsburgh of Tom Cruise’s new film “Jack Reacher,” in which Cruise plays a cold-blooded former military sniper.
In New York, the Lincoln Center Film Society postponed a Monday screening and conversation with Cruise “out of respect for the families who lost loved ones in Newtown, Connecticut,” according to a statement.
“Jack Reacher,” which opens with a sniper picking off and killing five apparently random targets on a riverfront promenade, is due to open in U.S. movie theaters on Friday.
Cruise has said nothing publicly about the shootings in Connecticut, and maintained his silence on the subject during a Monday appearance on “Late Show With David Letterman” to promote the film.
But “Jack Reacher” director Christopher McQuarrie told entertainment industry website TheWrap.com that the actor played a key role in the decision to cancel the red carpet premiere in Pittsburgh - where much of the movie was shot.
“Tom and I insisted on it. Nobody should be celebrating anything 24 hours after a tragic event like that,” McQuarrie told TheWrap on Monday.
Letterman, however, spoke at length about the killings before Cruise joined him on the set, saying “it’s a sad, sad holiday season.”
The talk show host also said that gun laws were not the answer to a “multi-faceted” social ill.
“I’m not dumb enough to think that this is a problem of guns, because before there were guns people were killing each other,” Letterman said.
He added that he was mystified by the “need” for semi-automatic weapons like one reportedly used in the Connecticut massacre. In a lighter vein, he remarked: “I’ve never seen a deer worth 30 rounds of ammo and an automatic rifle.”