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Aurora Theater Shooting May Impact ‘Dark Knight’ Oscar Chances

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Christian Bale stops by memorial in Aurora, CO. Sunday, July 24, 2012. (credit: The Denver Post)

Christian Bale stops by memorial in Aurora, CO. Sunday, July 24, 2012. (credit: The Denver Post)

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)- The midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” inside theater number nine at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora was the backdrop to one of Colorado’s most notorious mass shootings.

Suspected gunman James Holmes walked into the movie and started shooting. He killed 12 people and left 58 others injured.

The movie was one of Warner Bros. biggest releases for the summer. The big question remains, how will the deadly shooting in Aurora overshadow the movie’s potential?

CBS4 Critic at Large Greg Moody said one of the reasons that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences went to 10 possibilities in Best Picture nominations was that the second Christopher Nolan Batman movie, “The Dark Knight,” in 2009 didn’t get a well-deserved Best Picture nomination.

Heath Ledger won for his performance as the Joker but the movie itself was passed over.

Now Warner Bros., the studio behind the Dark Knight films, is heavily pushing “The Dark Knight Rises” as a Best Picture nominee.

Like “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” the award would be seen as a prize for the entire trilogy rather than just one film.

There are a few problems facing the studio’s quest for Oscar:

First- the third film, with some great gaps in logic, simply wasn’t as good as the first two Dark Knight movies. Would it really deserve an Oscar nomination?

Second- the film will always be associated with the theater shooting in Aurora. Will Oscar voters be able to get past that stigma? Will they want to stir up memories of the association with the shooting? Will any campaign by Warner Bros. appear to be thoughtless toward the victims?

- Greg Moody is CBS4’s Critic At Large. His reports on CBS4 News are featured on the CBSDenver.com Entertainment section.

- Also, don’t miss Moody’s entertaining bio, his Top Spots in Denver lists, and his frequently updated Moody’s Picks page.

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