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Death threat 'Batman' reviewer: Midnight screening massacre likely unrelated to passionate fans

A horrific shooting at a midnight screening of the new Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” in a suburb outside of Denver has left at least 12 people dead and 50 wounded.

The massacre comes after emotions had been running unusually high for a movie premiere.

Marshall Fine’s less-than-glowing review of “The Dark Knight Rises” earned the reviewer death threats, posted on the movie review web site, RottenTomatoes.com. The vitriol was so intense, the website discontinued any and all commenting on the movie.

“Someone said that they’d like to beat me into a coma with a hose, someone else wanted to set me on fire,” Marshall Fine tells FOXNews.com. “But I never took those comments as threatening, because there’s a big difference between someone sending you a letter or calling you on the telephone and posting something anonymously on an Internet thread.” 

Fine says there's also a big difference between a random Internet threat and what happened in Colorado.

“We know nothing about [the shooter] and why he did what he did,” said Fine. “Maybe he was a crazed Superman fan who was upset that the Batman movie came out first – we don’t know. This is an act of violence and everybody knew that every theater in the country was showing this movie at midnight last night, so it was going to be packed with people. So, if you’re someone who’s decided that, ‘I’m going to make an impact by killing a bunch of people and becoming a celebrity,’ what better way to do it than to go to the place where you know the most people are going to be so that you can have the most victims."

Still, Fine says the Batman series seems to stir emotions in people unlike any other franchise.

“The people who were waiting for this movie are very passionate about what they like,” Fine explained. “Batman the character has been around for 70 years, and people have been waiting for this movie since 2008, when the last one came out.”

"Batman: Dark Night Rises" is the third movie in Christopher Nolan's trilogy about the superhero. The second installment was also overshadowed by tragedy when co-star Heath Ledger died of an overdose before the film's premiere.

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