Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained premiere called off after Sandy Hook massacre

Despite the film's director Quentin Tarantino defending onscreen violence at a press conference on Saturday, distributors have decided to forgo the scheduled Los Angeles premiere

The US premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s western Django Unchained has been called off in response to last Friday’s massacre at a school in Connecticut.

The event had been due to take place today in Los Angeles, but will be replaced with a screening of the ultra-violent film for cast and crewmembers and their friends.

"In this time of national mourning we have decided to forgo our scheduled event," the film's distributor said.

The decision follows Tarantino’s appearance at a press conference to promote the film in New York on Saturday during which the Oscar-nominated director of Inglourious Basterds and the Palme d'Or winning Pulp Fiction, said blame for violence should remain squarely with the perpetrators.

Tarantino said: “I just think you know there's violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers. It's a western. Give me a break."

Tom Cruise will tomorrow attend a scaled-down opening of his new film Jack Reacher in Pittsburgh. The premiere of the film, which opens with scenes of a sniper shooting, will not include a red carpet and replaces a more lavish premiere intended for Saturday which was cancelled.

A spokesman for Paramount Pictures on Sunday said: "Due to the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and out of honour and respect for the families of the victims whose lives were senselessly taken, we are postponing the Pittsburgh premiere of Jack Reacher. Our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones."

The Los Angeles premiere of Parental Guidance, which stars Billy Crystal , Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei, was also cancelled at the weekend. A Fox spokesman said: “The hearts of all involved with this film go out to the victims, their families, their community, and our entire nation in mourning.”

Twenty children and six women died in the attack at Sandy Hook school by a gunman who shot himself dead at the scene on Friday.

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