The US premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s violent spaghetti western Django Unchained has been called off in the wake of last week’s shootings at a Connecticut school.
A red carpet event had been scheduled to take place today in Los Angeles, but will now be replaced by a private screening of the film for cast and crew including Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz.
“In this time of national mourning we have decided to forgo our scheduled event,” said a spokesperson for Django’s distributors, The Weinstein Company.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the tragedy in Newtown, CT… However, we will be holding a private screening for the cast and crew and their friends and families.”
The Django premiere is the fourth Hollywood-related event to have been postponed or cancelled since Friday, following the murder of 20 children and six adults by a lone gunman at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Paramount Pictures postponed the Pittsburgh premiere of Tom Cruise’s new gun-heavy action movie Jack Reacher from Saturday to Wednesday, and cancelled a Monday evening screening of the film in New York.
And while Twentieth Century Fox went ahead with a screening of the new Bette Midler/Billy Crystal comedy Parental Guidance in Los Angeles over the weekend, the studio cancelled the event’s press line and after party.
Django Unchained tells the tale of a freed slave, played by Jamie Foxx, who embarks on a violent and bloody quest to free his wife from the hands of a plantation owner.
Tarantino attempted to rationalise the violence in Django Unchained at a press conference over the weekend and said that he was tired of defending his films each time the US is shocked by gun violence.
“I just think you know there’s violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers,” he said. “It’s a western. Give me a break.”