US Army issues warning about possible shootings at Joker screenings
The Joker film is reaching a crescendo of excitement and paranoia as the release date looms. While countless people revel in the idea of a gritty and serious Joker film, a growing legion of others fear the film will inspire violence. Now the US Army and FBI are worried too.
Todd Phillips, director, and lead star Joaquin Phoenix are getting "sick and tired" of the growing outcry against Joker as a movie to catalyse violence. Recently, Phoenix stormed out of an interview when someone dared to bring the issue up.
The Telegraph film critic asked Phoenix if the film could “perversely end up inspiring exactly the kind of people it's about, with potentially tragic results”. It’s far from just The Telegraph however, families of shooting victims have also chimed in saying Phillips should do more to advocate against gun violence.
The old adage ‘life imitating art’ is also starting to worry the likes of the US Army and the FBI according to Gizmodo. The FBI has flagged a number of social media posts which idolise the mentally-ill Clown Prince of Crime. The posts come from a group of alienated men that feel shunned by society and according to the army they [the alienated men] also like “his depiction as a man who must pretend to be happy but eventually fights back against bullies,”
Following the flags from the FBI, the US Army has told any servicemen watching the film to remain on alert about possible outbreaks of violence.
Servicemen have been urged to “identify two escape routes” when in theatres. “Run if you can,” the message said. “If you’re stuck, hide (also known as ‘sheltering in place’), and stay quiet. If a shooter finds you, fight with whatever you can.”
Army’s Criminal Investigation Division said it received “credible” intelligence from Texas about “disturbing and very specific chatter” on the dark Web regarding “the targeting of an unknown movie theatre during the release.”
In America this year alone there have been almost 300 mass shooting events, with more than 300 dead and 1,200 injured. Joker comes at a time of high-tension in the States, its dominant audience for theatrical release.
The Joker, a realistic origin story of Batman’s arch-enemy, follows a disillusioned and unstable Arthur Fleck. Fleck, a failed comedian, eventually turns to crime and violence as means to fight back against his oppressors in life. His theatrical representation of crime sparks inspiration throughout Gotham City, though people fear Fleck’s action will inspire our society too.
Set to release internationally on October 4, you watch the final trailer below: