9/11 at the Movies | Buzz Blog
We need your help.

Newspapers and media companies nationwide are closing or suffering mass layoffs since the coronavirus impacted all of us starting in March. City Weekly's entire existence is directly tied to people getting together in groups--in clubs, restaurants, and at concerts and events--which are the industries most affected by new coronavirus regulations.

Our industry is not healthy. Yet, City Weekly has continued publishing thanks to the generosity of readers like you. Utah needs independent journalism more than ever, and we're asking for your continued support of our editorial voice. We are fighting for you and all the people and businesses hardest hit by this pandemic.

You can help by making a one-time or recurring donation on PressBackers.com, which directs you to our Galena Fund 501(c)(3) non-profit, a resource dedicated to help fund local journalism. It is never too late. It is never too little. Thank you. DONATE

9/11 at the Movies



The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are slowly becoming more like history than ongoing open wound. And they'll be part of movie history as well. ---

In the hours and days after that horrible morning, the entertainment industry went into "cover your ass" overdrive. And while it was completely understandable that movies and television shows re-thought the inclusion of terrorism-themed plot lines as pure entertainment, it was more fascinating watching them attempt to erase all references to the World Trade Center's Twin Towers.

The most noteworthy examples both involved long-lead promotions for the first Spider-Man film, which was still nearly a year away from release at the time. A crowd-favorite theatrical teaser showed Spider-Man catching helicopter-riding criminals in a web spun between the two towers; it was quickly yanked from theaters. Ditto a teaser poster which showed a reflection of the towers in Spider-Man's mirrored eyepiece. The movies themselves were not immune from such protective measures, as shots of the Twin Towers reportedly were digitally edited from the romantic dramedy Serendipity shortly before it opened theatrically that fall.

In hindsight, it's easy to wonder if such decisions amounted to over-reaction. After all, avoiding offense is the first rule of publicity. But it also seems a shame that the target of the attacks should need to be erased from view. Those architectural marvels themselves did nothing wrong. They may never be separated in our memory from their ultimate fate -- the documentary Man on Wire reminded us of that without ever mentioning the attacks -- but they deserve better than retrospective obliteration.