For movie goers planning to see Todd Phillips’ “Joker” on its upcoming opening weekend — the movie opens Oct. 4 — Landmark Theatres is insisting that everyone leave their clown masks, face paint and other costumes at home.
TMZ reports that the chain’s ban on clown gear comes as a number of fans have expressed interest in dressing up like the title Batman villain for the screenings. The move has apparently been taken in the interest of safety as the movie, which stars Joaquin Phoenix, has stirred up critics who say the film has a dangerous message and may even have what TMZ describes as “the potential to incite troubled individuals to commit mass shootings.”
TMZ notes that “family members of some of the victims of the 2012 Aurora, CO shooting during a screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ even sent a letter to Warner Bros. expressing their concerns with the movie, and asking the company to support gun reform.
“WB responded by saying it is already takings steps to address the epidemic of gun violence, but insisting ‘Joker’ is not an endorsement of violence or meant to portray the character as a hero.”
As noted in earlier media reports, the remodeled venue where the 2012 shooting took place — The Century Aurora and XD — won’t be showing “Joker.”
On the other hand, some theater chains apparently are not taking any special precautions related to “Joker.”
“Regal Cinemas tells us it doesn’t think the ‘Joker’ poses any specific risk because, ‘We do not believe the content or the existence of any movie is a cause or a signal for violence,'” TMZ reports. “That being said, a Regal rep added their theaters are in regular contact with law enforcement year-round so they always have info to help make whatever security assessments are necessary.”