In the wake of last week's 8.9 earthquake, Warner Bros. Pictures has pulled Clint Eastwood's afterlife drama Hereafter off screens in Japan and postponed Friday's scheduled opening of the Anthony Hopkins supernatural thriller The Rite indefinitely. Warner Bros. representative Satoru Otani said Eastwood's film, which features real footage of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, was "not appropriate" for the country at this time. A similar statement was issued by the studio regarding the postponement of The Rite, explaining the gruesome material was "not appropriate given Japan's current situation."
Neither picture will be the first work pushed off shelves or screens by an outside tragedy. Four of the most prominent works of casualties of increased sensitivity
Originally set to open October 5, 2001, there was probably no good time to release this Arnold Schwarzenegger action thriller about a firefighter who single-handidly hunts down the South American terrorist who killed his family after the events of September 11. The release was quietly bumped back to February where the film failed to make back half its budget at the box office. Watching this trailer again, it's a surprise Warner Bros. even released it at all.
After 9/11, it was clear director Barry Sonnenfeld's adaptation of Dave Barry's novel wouldn't make its scheduled November 2001 release date, what with all the jokes about airports, planes, and bombs. It was moved all the way back to October 2002 and grossed $4 million against a $40 million budget.
The early Stephen King novel (written under the pen name Richard Bachman) centers on a high school misfit who brings a rifle to school and holds his math class hostage. After two would-be school shooters in 1988 and 1989 were revealed to be compulsive Rage readers, King instructed his publisher to take the book out of print.
A Clockwork Orange
Following the release of Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Anthony Burrgess' novel, a string of copycat based on the methods of the film's Droogs sets off a press frenzy. Kubrick, who retained British distribution rights on the film, ordered it pulled from the UK in 1973. The ban was only lifted in 2001.
Update: Now video games are also being pulled from shelves in the wake of the earthquake. The PlayStationLifeStyle blog is reporting that developer Irem has pulled the plug on Disaster Report 4, a game in which "players must escape an earthquake-ravaged Tokyo." Sega has put Yakuza: Of the End on hold to modify the game's "apocalyptic tone." Sony delayed the release of racing game Motorstorm Apocolypse an unspecified amount of time, citing "various circumstances.”