Movie studios and television networks moved quickly to cancel or postpone entertainment programming that would echo Tuesday's horrifying real-life terrorist events. Upcoming movies Collateral Damage and Big Trouble, both of which feature deadly explosions as plot points, have been postponed, Variety reports. Damage, which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger seeking vengeance after his family is killed in a bomb blast at a downtown skyscraper, was set to open Oct. 5. Warner Bros. released a statement today announcing their plans to shelve the film indefinitely. The studio will also pull all promotional materials for it, including posters, trailers, and the movie's Web site. The film's title refers to innocent people who are killed simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also problematic is Big Trouble, a comic ensemble film led by Tim Allen, featuring a scene in which a suitcase carrying a bomb ends up on a plane, though Touchstone Pictures spokeswoman Vivian Boyer tells the Hollywood Reporter that the characters manage to avert disaster. The film's press junket, which was set for this weekend, has been canceled, and the film's release date, which was to be Sept. 21, has been indefinitely postponed. Sony pulled a trailer for their upcoming film Spider-Man, due to a scene featuring the now-destroyed World Trade Center. A rep for the studio tells the Reporter that the scene — in which a helicopter full of bank robbers is caught in a web spun by Spider-Man between the World Trade Center towers — was created solely for the trailer and will not appear in the film, which is due in theaters next year
The Ed Burns-Heather Graham indie film Sidewalks of New York has also been postponed until later this year, not for any terrorist content, but, apparently, simply for its setting and title. Filming on Men in Black 2, Third Watch Suspended Columbia Pictures' film Men in Black 2, which had scheduled scenes to be shot in New York, has temporarily shut down production.
Equipment from NBC's Third Watch, which deals with New York City emergency workers, was made available to their real-life counterparts in the grim search for survivors in the rubble that was once the World Trade Center. A Warner Bros. TV spokeswoman told Reuters she expected that the New York-based show would be out of commission for days. Variety also reports that "Terror," a five-hour Law & Order miniseries NBC was planning to air next May might never be made now. The networks also pulled promos for new fall terrorist-themed series like 24 and The Agency. ABC pulled a Saturday showing of the 1997 George Clooney thriller The Peacemaker, about an extremist group who captures a nuclear weapon, and Fox nixed plans to show Independence Day — in which the White House and the Empire State Building are blown up.
Scheduled fall television premieres that were set for this week have been bumped for round-the-clock news coverage, but it's too early to tell when regular programming will resume.
"Right now, everyone I'm talking to just wants to go home and hug their kids," one studio insider told Variety when asked to comment.