In the wake of the Aurora, Colo. shooting at movie theater showing "The Dark Knight Rises" that left 12 dead, Hollywood stars and executives have had to answer some difficult questions about violence in cinema. The alleged shooter, James Holmes, reportedly claimed he was "The Joker" after police arrested him and was an apparent fan of Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight."
Now, at least some in the film industry are vehemently discounting any connection between the cinema and Holmes' actions.
"It didn't matter that it was a Batman movie; he says he was The Joker, this is now an act so he can look insane," Oscar-winning filmmaker William Friedkin told THR at a New York screening of his film "Killer Joe" on Monday night. "He was not insane. He premeditated that. He bought 6000 rounds of ammunition, he was eligible to buy guns and ammo, he set it up, he booby trapped his room; there’s no insanity, other than to say anyone that kills someone in cold blood is insane at the moment. He should go to the gas chamber."
Friedkin -- who won his Oscar for the classic thriller "The French Connection" -- said he felt Holmes was "feigning insanity."
The 24-year-old made his first court appearance on Monday and appeared "sleepy or dazed and often had his eyes shut" according to reports. Holmes is being held without bond and will head back to the courtroom on July 30 to be formally charged. He could face the death penalty for his crimes, should prosecutors decided to pursue that course of punishment. According to CBS, 18th Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers will consult with the victims' families before making any decision.
Fifty-eight people were injured in the Aurora shooting, with the youngest victim being 6 years old.
For more from the cast of "Killer Joe," including what Matthew McConaughey thinks of the massacre, head over to THR.com.