‘Bastille Day’ Movie Ads Pulled; Movie Poster Eerily Similar To Attack

Studiocanal, the film company behind Idris Elba’s Bastille Day movie, is pulling its advertising in light of yesterday’s terror attack in Nice, France, as revealed by The Hollywood Reporter. This year, Bastille Day was celebrated on July 14, but the filmed opened a day earlier in France. Studiocanal had considered pulling the film altogether but instead decided to allow theaters to make their own decisions whether or not the film should be pulled.

The Bastille Day movie had always been planned to open in July in France, much like the original Independence Day film opened in the United States on July 4th to coincide with the American holiday. However, the film’s premiere date was pushed back from February to April for the U.K. and from March to June for Germany following the November terror attack in Paris that killed 130 people. In between, the Bastille Day movie also opened in Europe, Australia, and Asia. The film is set to be distributed in the U.S. as well by Focus Features, but as of now, an opening date has not been set.

Bastille Day is a national holiday in France that is traditionally celebrated in a way that is similar to America’s Fourth of July events with huge fireworks displays. Many had lined up in Nice to watch the fireworks when the attack happened. MSN has reported that yesterday’s attack was led by Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian-born man who drove the 19-ton truck that roared into the Promenade des Anglais seaside walk and took the lives of 84 people and injured 202 more.

The Bastille Day movie eerily features a similar storyline where Briar, a CIA black-ops specialist (Elba), who is sent to investigate an explosion that killed many pedestrians in Paris. The movie poster tagline reads, “This year, they are the fireworks.”

The Daily Star reports that some scenes in the movie are eerily similar to yesterday’s events, including footage of a van driven at high speeds smashing into oncoming traffic. The truck that ran through the crowds yesterday is said to have been going about 40 mph.

Twitter user Lois wrote, “So the movie Bastille Day centred on terrorism and now an actual terrorist attack is carried out on that same day. Now that’s creepy.” Another user, known only as Rae, added, “How coincidental that a movie called Bastille Day about unveiling a terrorist plot got released three months ago.”

The film had already been criticized for producing a terror-themed movie set in Paris so soon after the November attacks, but the Bastille Day was filmed late in 2014, long before last year’s events even occurred.


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Bastille Day is directed by James Watkins and stars Elba, Richard Madden, and Kelly Reilly.

Studiocanal gives this description of the movie on its website.

“Michael Mason is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself in the hands of the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar, the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a larger-scale criminal conspiracy in the heart of the police force. Going against commands, Briar recruits Michael to use his expert pickpocketing skills to help track down the source of the corruption.”

So far, the Bastille Day movie has brought in $7.3 million.

[Photo by AP Images]