Batman series director Christopher Nolan, 41, has released a statement over the gruesome Thursday night shootings at the Aurora, Colorado movie premiere of Nolan's new The Dark Knight Rises — a crime which was allegedly perpetrated by gunman James Holmes, 24, who arrived at the theater wearing a gas mask and heavy trench coat in the style of the character Bane from the movie, who is portrayed by Tom Hardy.

"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community," Nolan said, reports The Hollywood Reporter. "I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on a screen is an important and joyful pastime," Nolan's statement read.

"The movie theater is my home," Nolan went on, "and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."

In response to the shootings, the Paris red carpet premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, which stars Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Matthew Modine and Hardy, was cancelled, as were several other promotional appearances for which the star-studded cast was scheduled, reports Heightened security in such cities as New York and by AMC theaters was ordered for the mainstream showings of the film.

The Dark Knight Rises studio, Warner Bros., also released a statement saying, "Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time."

Music composer for The Dark Knight Rises Hans Zimmer also expressed his feelings about the tragic shooting. "We're all devastated by what's happened. When we set up this interview, we didn't know that things would change," Zimmer told Rolling Stone. "Suddenly, words become meaningless because it's so beyond anything. Devastated, I suppose, is the word."

President Barack Obama, 50, also came out on Friday to publically denounce the crime and express his support to the families of the murdered and injured victims, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "Now, even as we learn how this happened and who's responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless. It's beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living. The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved."

Out of "respect for the victims and their families," the studio also said in a statement released on Friday, "Warner Bros. Pictures will not be reporting box office numbers for The Dark Knight Rises throughout the weekend. Box office numbers will be released on Monday." In addition, Warner Bros. has suspended viewings of the violent trailer for the upcoming film, Gangster Squad, starring Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and Emma Stone, from all Dark Knight screenings, reports Examiner. NBC, CBS and ESPN have also chosen to stop running ads for September's Gangster Squad, a decision backed by Warner Bros.

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  • GabrielaTilevitz
    GabrielaTilevitz on

    This is literally so sad I don't think anyone can truly express, not even the film makers or the actors how disturbing this event is.

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