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Streep film delayed because of campus shooting

“Dark Matter,” about a student who turns violent on a U.S. campus that was delayed following the Virginia Tech shootings, will be released this spring
/ Source: The Associated Press

A Meryl Streep movie about a student who turns violent on a U.S. campus that was delayed following the Virginia Tech shootings will be released this spring, its distrubutor said Friday, just hours after another campus rampage that left five dead.

“Dark Matter,” which also stars Liu Ye, one of China’s rising stars, will debut in New York City on April 11 and be released in other American cities after that, Gary Rubin, president of First Independent Pictures, told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday.

Rubin said the film, directed by Chinese-born director Chen Shizheng, had been scheduled for release last year but its producers and investors shelved the movie “out of respect for the Virginia Tech incident.”

The release date comes a year after Korean-American student Cho Seung-hui killed 32 people and himself at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va., on April 16.

The announcement also comes after another U.S. campus shooting incident. On Thursday, a former student opened fire in a science class at Northern Illinois University, killing five students and wounding 16 before committing suicide.

Like the student in the Virginia Tech shooting, the disgruntled student in “Dark Matter” is Asian. In the film, inspired by true events, Liu plays a Chinese science graduate student who becomes violent after dealing with academic politics at a U.S. university.

Streep plays a wealthy patron of the university who befriends the student.

Rubin says he believes it’s now the right time to release “Dark Matter.”

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“Obviously that (Virginia Tech) was a long time ago. We’re not even focusing on that aspect of it at this point. It’s a good movie and we feel it should get out there,” he said.

Rubin said “Dark Matter” initially will target art-house markets in the U.S., but it’s unclear if Streep and Liu will promote it. Rubin said the movie’s marketing plan is still being decided.

The movie won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize for movies about science at the Sundance Film Festival last year.