Last Saturday's premiere of Tom Cruise's action-packed thriller Jack Reacher was postponed after the tragic school massacre in Connecticut, and we sat down with some cast members who explained the cancellation and talked about the film's violent themes.
"The premiere has been postponed, and that was something we all felt was absolutely right in light of what just happened in Connecticut," said cast member David Oyelowo. "It was going to be a celebratory event, which is entirely inappropriate in light of what's happened. And being a parent myself, I've been horrified and full of prayers for the people who've really suffered."
In Jack Reacher -- opening December 21 -- Cruise plays an ex-military investigator trying to track down a trained military sniper who kills innocent civilians.
Actress Rosamund Pike says she believes the film -- which opens with a terrifying sniper attack -- carries an anti-violence message because it exposes the shooter as a deeply disturbed person who must be caught and punished. "Interestingly, Jack Reacher, our hero, is capable of great violence, but he's a protector of the innocents and he's a seeker after justice," she said. "He's an unarmed man and when he does get armed it's because he's taken a weapon out of the hands of a bad guy."
Paramount Pictures said this week that instead of a traditional style premiere, Cruise and other cast members will attend a screening of Jack Reacher on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. "There will be no red carpet during this time of mourning," the statement said. "The filmmakers and Tom Cruise convey their heartfelt sadness and their deep condolences to the families during this time."
Director Christopher McQuarrie said that while he's not sure how the audience will react to the movie's horrifying opening, he feels it was handled in an appropriate way. "I think we handle it in a pretty responsible way and I don't think that anything we did was to be exploitive or cavalier," McQuarrie said. "It was very important to me right from the beginning that we take that event that's depicted in the book and do it in a way that humanized the victims and also never made it something that the audience enjoyed."