In the wake of terrorism, execs scramble to rework their film schedules
Collateral Damage
Credit: Collateral Damage: Lucy Nichols/AFP

by Jeff Jensen and Benjamin Svetkey

”It represents capitalism. It represents freedom. It represents everything America is about. And to bring those two buildings down would bring America to its knees.”

This horrifying snippet of dialogue is from ”Nosebleed,” a Jackie Chan film project about a window washer who uncovers a terrorist plot to blow up the World Trade Center. The script was written nearly two years ago and has been in development ever since; just last month, its authors met with MGM to discuss a rewrite. But now, after the events of last week, it’s a safe bet the movie will be scrapped. ”I can’t imagine they’d want to make it,” says Stu Zicherman, one of its writers. ”I wouldn’t.”

For reasons that are all too sad and obvious, Hollywood is reconsidering a lot of decisions right now. Warner Bros. has been removing posters for ”Collateral Damage,” in which Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a firefighter who battles Colombian terrorists after losing his family in a building explosion — and has indefinitely postponed the film’s Oct. 5 release. The studio has also pushed back the Sept. 21 debut of its gritty LAPD drama ”Training Day,” not because of its violent content but because the lack of TV ad space and talk-show face time due to uninterrupted news coverage has made it difficult to promote. Disney has delayed the opening of its Tim Allen comedy ”Big Trouble” (originally scheduled for Sept. 21), in which a bomb is snuck onto a plane, and is reconsidering its plans to rerelease ”Pearl Harbor” this fall. Columbia Pictures has recalled posters and teasers for next May’s ”Spider-Man,” which feature the Twin Towers in the background (though the buildings do not appear in the film). Paramount Classics’ ”Sidewalks of New York,” which has a poster that features the towers in silhouette, is also being bumped from September. ”A film celebrating single life in New York just doesn’t seem appropriate right now,” says Paramount vice chairman Rob Friedman. ”It just doesn’t feel right.”

Big Trouble
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