Paramount Pictures is postponing today's U.S. premiere of "Jack Reacher" in Pittsburgh in light of the "terrible tragedy in Newtown, Conn., and out of honor and respect for the families of the victims whose lives were senselessly taken."
The studio, which issued the statement shortly after 10 p.m. Friday night, added, "Our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones."
Paramount had rented out the entire SouthSide Works Cinema, flown cast and crew to Pittsburgh, invited dignitaries and staged contests to fill all 10 theaters at the complex.
But less than 24 hours before Tom Cruise and others were scheduled to greet autograph seekers, picture takers and other fans, a school shooting in Connecticut claimed 27 lives, prompting organizers to rethink their plans for celebration.
There was no word Friday on when or if the event might be rescheduled for Pittsburgh.
The title character in the movie is an ex-Army military investigator who arrives in Pittsburgh on the heels of a sniper attack that leaves five dead. A news report brings him out of the shadows -- where he lives as a veritable ghost, off the grid.
Shortly after the movie opens, a sniper is shown perched in a Downtown garage and shooting at pedestrians along the river walk outside PNC Park. Although it has no connection to any school, that dramatization is unnerving in light of tragic events Friday at a Connecticut elementary school.
"Jack Reacher," based on the Lee Child novel "One Shot" and adapted and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, was set in the state of Indiana but the backdrop was changed to Pittsburgh to take advantage of the rivers, ballparks, bridges and everything else the city and surrounding areas had to offer. That included the 10th Street Bridge lit up like a Christmas tree, Downtown streets and alleys, Sewickley Country Inn along Ohio River Boulevard and a muddy quarry in Saltsburg, Indiana County.
The movie is about who pulled the trigger and why and if someone else has been framed for the crime. Fifteen minutes into the film, a suspect scrawls on a piece of paper, "Get Jack Reacher" and he materializes before anyone can even figure out where or how to hunt for him.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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