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TK's MORNING BUZZ: The Terrorist Attacks Have Shaken Up Hollywood as 'Collateral Damage,' 'Big Trouble' and 'Spider-Man' Trailer Strike Too Close to Home

13 Sep, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold


It's been two days since the terrorist attack on New York and Washington,D.C., and all of us are trying to dip our feet back into our work while trying to cope with the horrible tragedy and the overriding sense of vulnerability many of us now feel.

That's why I took a vacation from writing my column yesterday morning -- the eyes of the world were focused on the tragedy, and I felt a one-day hiatus was appropriate. Studio executives must have felt the same way, because most lots were shut for the day.

Now many of us are back at our desks, but to say it's business as usual wouldhardly be accurate. What happened in New York and Washington continues todominate our thoughts; I've had the radio on nonstop since I arrived at workyesterday morning and I'm the type of guy who generally prefers to work in absolute silence.

Hollywood, too, appears to have been more shaken up by the tragedy than by any other event in recent memory, including the series of hearings on allegations that the studios were consciously marketing sex and violence tokids.

Those hearings provoked much discussions and many promises -- but very littlein the way of any concrete action, at least that I can see.

This disaster was different. The openings of two upcoming films expected to generate millions of dollars at the box office, Collateral Damage and Big Trouble, were postponed because they feature deadly explosions.

In Collateral Damage, Arnold Schwarzenegger seeks vengeance after his familyis killed when a bomb explodes near a downtown skyscraper. The film wasscheduled to open Oct. 5, but Warner Bros. issued a statement saying the filmhas been shelved indefinitely. All promotional materials, including themovie's Web site, were pulled.

Big Trouble, a comedy starring Tim Allen, was also canned. The film, which was to open Sept. 21, features a scene in which a suitcase with a bomb somehow ends up on a plane.

That's not all. Sony Pictures yanked a trailer for Spider-Man that shows the Web-spinner trapping a helicopter full of crooks in a web spun between the World Trade Center's twin towers.

Several upcoming TV programs dealing with fictional terrorist attacks were also pulled off the schedule. Among them: Independence Day, in which both theEmpire State Building and the White House are blown up. Yesterday, news broke that the White House was the actual target of the hijacked jet that crashed into the Pentagon.

Maybe Hollywood has a conscience, after all.


Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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