In an alternate universe, you could have snuck off work this afternoon to take in a matinee of Warner Bros.' all-star period actioner "Gangster Squad." The film was originally set for release on September 7th, nearly two weeks ago, until the Aurora shootings in July caused the studio to delay the film in order to reshoot the film's climax, which took place in a movie theater. That weekend turned out to be the worst at the box office in years, and it's tempting to wonder if the presence of "Gangster Squad" would have lifted things, or if the film might have died along with the rest.
The film's latest date — it'll open in early January, another traditionally dead time at the box office — doesn't suggest that Warner Bros. are any more confident in the picture, but we do at least get some pretty nifty glimpses behind the scenes, courtesy of some new photos in W Magazine. The shots — a cut above the usual kind of publicity material — show director Ruben Fleischer ("Zombieland") and stars Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Michael Peña, Robert Patrick, Nick Nolte and Giovanni Ribisi at work — notably absent is Sean Penn, who plays villain Mickey Cohen.
There's nothing revelatory here, but the photos are pretty cool in and of themselves. We're still pretty cautious about the film — despite a great cast and a decent script from "Justice League" writer Will Beall, the trailer seemed all style and no substance, and the buzz on the film hasn't been too hot. Still, we hope we'll be pleasantly surprised when the film lands on January 11th.