The much-awaited ‘Joker’ movie released very recently on 4th Oct’19. Director Todd Phillips, who has received praise for a number of his previous works, has depicted the sad truth of real-life violence in this movie.
In the movie Joker, Joaquin Phoenix plays a bullied street clown Arthur Fleck, whose Gotham City reeks from a garbage strike and teams up with destructive young men, a group Arthur is about to galvanize on his path to becoming Batman’s nemesis. Though set in 1981, Joker‘s anarchical mood feels ripped from the headlines of America circa 2019.
So to ask the question, how does one sell a movie about a mentally ill loner with a gun in a country where mass shootings are increasingly commonplace?
According to the reports, it was not an easy vote on the commencement of the project. Walter Hamada, president of DC Entertainment-based film production, initially opposed to the project before ultimately becoming a supporter.
On Sept. 24, family members of those killed in 2012 when a gunman opened fire during a showing of Warners‘ The Dark Knight Rises at a theater in Aurora, Colorado, sent a letter to the studio asking that it lobby for gun reform and donate to groups that aid victims of gun violence.
Even the marketing materials for Joker have been triggering for some. “I just need to see a Joker promo and I see a picture of the killer,” says Sandy Phillips, whose 24-year-old daughter, Jessica Ghawi, was among the slain.
Warners Bros responded to the victims’ letter by extending its sympathy & stating,
“Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker nor the film is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind.”
As the controversy grew, Warners did not reduce its advertising budget nor tweak its campaign, but it did limit reporters at its red carpet premiere, shielding Phillips, Phoenix, and executives from questions about the film’s violence.
Nevertheless, early tracking suggests Joker could set an October box office record, collecting more than $80 million domestically in its opening weekend.