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"Django Unchained" premiere canceled after Newtown shooting

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The premiere for Quentin Tarantino's latest film "Django Unchained," a violent spaghetti Western slave revenge tale, was canceled on Monday in the wake of the school shooting in Connecticut last week, the film's studio said.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the tragedy in Newtown, CT and in this time of national mourning we have decided to forgo our scheduled event. However, we will be holding a private screening for the cast and crew and their friends and families," a spokesperson for The Weinstein Company said in a statement.

Tuesday's premiere in Los Angeles was scheduled to have a red carpet and party, but instead will be a private screening with no media coverage.

The film, which won five Golden Globe nominations last week, stars Jamie Foxx as a slave turned bounty hunter who wreaks revenge on slave plantation owners as he tries to rescue his wife.

It features Tarantino's trademark style of extensive graphic and bloody violence, along with dark humor, and is due to be released in U.S. movie theaters on Christmas Day.

A source at the privately held Weinstein Company told Reuters the cancellation was unrelated to the violence depicted in the movie.

Paramount Pictures canceled a weekend premiere for Tom Cruise's new movie "Jack Reacher" and New York's Lincoln Center Film Society postponed a Monday screening and talk with Cruise out of respect for the Newtown families.

A total of 27 people, 20 of them young children, died in Friday's shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut by a lone gunman, who then killed himself.

(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Eric Walsh)

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