Broadcast and print journalists will not be allowed to conduct interviews on the red carpet of this weekend’s “Joker” premiere, which takes place Saturday night at the venerated TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Variety has reported that only photographers will be granted access to the filmmakers and talent — with director/co-writer Todd Phillips, and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy all expected to attend the U.S. debut of the film, its first public screening outside of a film festival.
IndieWire reached out to both Warner Bros. Pictures and TCL Chinese Theatres representatives regarding any heightened security planned for the event in the wake of increased reports of possible violence occurring around presentations of the film — with even the U.S. military on watch.
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A Warner Bros. spokesperson told IndieWire, “The safety of our guests is of utmost importance. While we don’t comment on security protocols tied to our events, we are in touch with local law enforcement, as we always are for premieres, to assess security needs at our event.”
A TCL Chinese representative said that security is expected to be “robust.”
A Warner Bros. spokesperson also told Variety, “A lot has been said about ‘Joker,’ and we just feel it’s time for people to see the film.”
Recently, surviving families of the 2012 Aurora shooting — where 12 lives were lost at a Colorado movie theater where “The Dark Knight Rises” was screening — expressed concern about the film’s potential to spark similar attacks. Warner Bros. has since doubled down to say that the film does not endorse real-world violence.
“Warner Bros. believes that one of the functions of storytelling is to provoke difficult conversations around complex issues. Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero,” the studio said in a prior statement.
Director Phillips and star Phoenix have similarly defended the film against such claims from the media. Exhibitor Regal Cinemas also took the stance “Joker” is not intended as propaganda of violence. “Joker” opens October 4 and is expected to become the biggest October opener ever.