After premiering at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, Joker made its way to Hollywood for its stateside premiere. Despite receiving critical acclaim, the film has been put under the media microscope considering its divisive story about a man unraveling and resorting to acts of violence as a result of being alienated. There have been fears that screenings would be susceptible to a threat of a mass shooting.
At last night’s premiere at the TLC Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, the security was high, but the threat was fairly low. Security was scattered amongst the entire Hollywood and Highland complex — even each floor of the parking garage had official monitors coming in and out of the busy structure. Hollywood Boulevard was closed and authorities were guarding the area, closely watching everyone that went in and out of the theater and the restricted areas including the afterparty. But in the end, it was your basic, run-of-the-mill Hollywood premiere…with some adjustments.
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Before the premiere, Warner Bros. curbed broadcast and print interviewers from their “green” carpet premiere and regulated the press line to photos-only. The news was made shortly after it was announced that Joker would not be playing at the Cinemark Aurora theater where the 2012 Dark Knight Rises mass shooting took place, killing 12 and wounding 70.
Despite the heightened risks, the LAPD stated that they “were aware of public concerns and the historical significance associated with the premiere of the Joker. While there are no credible threats in the Los Angeles area, the Department will maintain high visibility around movie theaters when it opens. We encourage everyone to go out and enjoy all of the weekend leisure activities this city has to offer however, Angelenos should remain vigilant and always be aware of your surroundings. As always if you see something, say something.” Industry sources also informed Deadline that the FBI and Homeland Security found no credible threats surrounding the release of Joker.
Before the screening started, director Todd Phillips came out to greet the audience — something he doesn’t do often. He joked that Joker hasn’t been getting any press lately and told everyone to spread the word about the film. He then said that the movie should just be appreciated for the art that it is.
Joker will open in theaters October 4.