Drama shelved again after killings

LOS ANGELES • American network USA on Monday postponed sniper drama Shooter again, in the wake of the police killings in Louisiana, the latest in a string of releases hit by real-life violence.

Based on the 2007 film starring Mark Wahlberg, the show was originally due to air yesterday, but was pushed back a week after five officers were killed by a sniper in Dallas in the July 7 incident.

The network has now bumped it off the summer schedule altogether after three more officers were shot dead by a lone gunman in Baton Rouge on Sunday.

"After further consideration, USA Network, Paramount TV and Universal Cable Productions have decided to move the premiere of Shooter to the fall," USA network owner NBCUniversal said in a statement.

In each case, the gunman was a military veteran, as is the Shooter protagonist, played by Ryan Phillippe.

He plays a marine coaxed out of retirement to stop the assassination of the president before he is framed for a crime he did not commit.

The announcement comes a month after a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando left 49 people dead and weeks after the Dallas shooting during a protest against the killings of two black men by the police.

It was the second premiere in recent days hit by gun violence after action-thriller Bastille Day, starring Idris Elba, was pulled from French theatres following the Nice truck attack. The action movie, in which Elba plays a CIA agent aiming to thwart a terrorist plot to bomb Paris on the national holiday, was released in France on July 13.

The following day, 31-year-old Tunisian father of three Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel killed 84 people and wounded hundreds when he drove a truck into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day on the French Riviera.

Variety magazine said distributor StudioCanal suspended trailers and took down posters for the film last Friday, but decided to leave the decision on whether to pull the movie to individual cinemas.

The company announced last Saturday, however, that the movie had been withdrawn out of respect for the victims and their families.

Satellite broadcaster Sky postponed the launch of the second season of drama series The Tunnel after 32 died in the March attacks on Brussels Airport and the city's metro system.

Nicolas Boukhrief's Made In France (2015), which follows a journalist who infiltrates a jihadist cell planning attacks in the city centre of Paris, was pulled twice due to terrorist attacks.

It was first delayed after jihadists struck the French capital in January last year, killing 17 people at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a Jewish supermarket.

Pretty Pictures picked up the film, but a new release date of November last year was shelved when the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria organised an attack on a Parisian concert hall, stadium, restaurants and bars, killing 130 people.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2016, with the headline 'Drama shelved again after killings'. Print Edition | Subscribe