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Warner Bros. restricts press access from upcoming 'Joker' film premiere following controversy from anti-gun groups


Press will no longer be welcome at the red carpet

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Warner Bros. has restricted the press from attending the red carpet event for its upcoming nationwide premiere of "Joker."

The film, which has been at the center of controversy for a week, is set for an Oct. 4 theatrical release. The premiere event will take place Saturday at TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California.

What are the details?

Neither print nor broadcast journalists will be permitted on the red carpet, according to Variety.

Only photographers will be permitted to visit the red carpet and have access to those involved with the project.

A spokesperson for the production house told the outlet, "Our red carpet is comprised of photographers only. A lot has been said about 'Joker,' and we just feel it's time for people to see the film."

On Thursday, the outlet revealed that the Los Angeles Police Department would "increase its visibility" at area theaters.

"The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of public concerns and the historical significance associated with the premiere of 'Joker,'" department spokesman Josh Rubenstein told Variety. "While there are no credible threats in the Los Angeles area, the department will maintain high visibility around theaters when it opens."

What else?

This week, the U.S. military issued a warning to troops advising of potential threats of violence during screenings of the film.

A memo, pointing to an intelligence bulletin, warned troops of a "credible potential mass shooting to occur at an unknown movie theater," adding that there had been "disturbing and very specific chatter on the dark web" about such an incident.

Families of the Aurora, Colorado, mass killing victims also called on the studio for what the group said is the production company's responsibility to help fight gun violence. A killer shot moviegoers at a theater in 2012 during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises." The mass killing took the lives of at least 12 people and injured more than 70 others. Early reports said that the killer had referred to himself as "the Joker" — but a subsequent investigation found that the killer never made such claims.

Todd Phillips, director of the project, insisted that the new film doesn't glorify violence or pardon behaviors because of mental illness.

"We didn't make the movie to push buttons," Phillips told The Wrap earlier this week. "I literally described to Joaquin at one point in those three months as like, 'Look at this as a way to sneak a real movie in the studio system under the guise of a comic book film.' It wasn't, 'We want to glorify this behavior.' It was literally like 'Let's make a real movie with a real budget and we'll call it f***ing Joker.' That's what it was."

"I think it's because outrage is a commodity," he explained. "I think it's something that has been a commodity for a while. What's outstanding to me in this discourse in this movie is how easily the far left can sound like the far right when it suits their agenda."

Just days before Phillips' remarks, Warner Bros. issued a statement surrounding the controversy.

"Warner Bros. believes that one of the functions of storytelling is to provoke difficult conversations around complex issues," the statement read. "Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is no the intention of the film, the filmmakers, or the studio, to hold this character up as a hero."

JOKER - Final Trailer

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