- Associated Press - Friday, July 20, 2012

PARIS (AP) - The Paris premiere of the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” was canceled Friday after a gunman killed several people at a Colorado opening of the same film.

The event at a movie theater on the French capital’s famed Champs-Elysees Avenue was supposed to include director Christopher Nolan and stars like Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.

But on Friday afternoon, workers were pulling down the red carpet display. Some could be seen carrying away a large mask that had adorned the facade of the theater.

Warner Bros. said in a statement that it was also canceling all media interviews in the city. The studio said it was “deeply saddened” by the shooting.

Another screening with appearances by members of the cast had also been planned for Saturday night in Paris. There was no immediate word on whether it would take place.

In the early hours of Friday morning, a man wearing a gas mask released an unknown substance into a crowded movie theater in a Denver suburb and opened fire. The shooter has been arrested.

President Francois Hollande said in a statement that his thoughts were with the American people, especially the families of the victims.

After the premiere was canceled, a small group of fans and journalists gathered in front of the posh Hotel Bristol, where members of the cast were reportedly staying.

Onlooker Charles Vignon was disappointed that the premiere had been canceled.

“I think Warner maybe should have cancelled it at movie theaters of the area where it (the killings) happened,” the 17-year-old said. “But as for France, I think it is very far away from the U.S. so I don’t think it was necessary.”

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