Monday, April 22, 2024

Paramount Postpones “Reacher” Premiere Out of Deference to Victims


Paramount Pictures has postponed the Pittsburgh premiere of “Jack Reacher” with Tom Cruise out of deference to the victims and survivors of Friday’s Connecticut school shooting. In the movie, Reacher investigates the murder of five people with six shots from a sniper. The film is based on a novel by Lee Child.

It’s not the first time this year that real life events have derailed the marketing of a movie. The Ben Stiller movie “The Watch” was originally called “Neighborhood Watch.” It was about a group of suburban dads who protect their streets, and it was supposed to be a comic take ending in them discovering aliens. But months before it was released, George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin and the story became an overnight sensation. This column first reported the situation. The movie’s title was changed to “The Watch” but it was too late. The film was DOA.

“Reacher” has nothing to do with the current situation but the timing is bad. The Connecticut shooting is less than day old, and it’s a massive tragedy. It will involved, if you think about it, 27 funerals, many of children, in a small town. Meanwhile, “Reacher” is committed to opening on Friday, December 21st. Today there is a press junket–already set to be without Cruise–here in New York. Tomorrow–Monday–Cruise and the film are set for a screening and tribute at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Cruise’s only American media appearances for the movie are this week, too, on David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon’s shows. Now what? “Reacher” is coming, premiere or not.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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