Warner Bros., the filmmakers behind Joker and now the Regal Cinemas film theater chain are all on the defensive against criticisms that the upcoming adaptation of DC Comics glamorizes and trivializes the same kind of person that has destabilized so much of the United States through mass shootings and other flamboyant criminal acts. Such criticisms struck hard and early when a screenplay version was leaked online and critics observed that the film’s basic concept seemed to center around turning a white male into a compassionate protagonist on a path to commit mass assassination.
No movie is a signal for violence
“At Regal, we do not believe the content or the existence of any movie is a cause or a signal for violence,” a spokesperson for Regal told. “Nevertheless, although we do not comment on security protocols implemented by our theatres at any time, patron and employee safety is our foremost concern. In collaboration with NATO, we are in regular contact year-round with law enforcement so we have information to help make whatever security assessments they deem appropriate at all times.”
Todd Philips tries to pacify
Filmmaker Todd Phillips first tried to address the concerns but seems to have tried talking about it and is now just blaming “outrage culture.”
“It’s all tone. I think one of the biggest jobs of a director is you’re the purveyor of tone, and this movie was always written and meant to be a slow burn, and I think the violence is part of that slow burn. We were very careful, I think, with it,” Phillips explained from Venice.
Judged by assumptions
“A lot of people assume or think it’s gonna be a really violent movie, but if you break it down to the amount of people that [Arthur] has a problem with, I think the reason it affects you differently — I mean, you can watch a movie like John Wick 3, and there’s a much higher amount of violence. But I think why it might affect you differently is we tried to paint it with as realistic a brush as possible. So when it comes, it sort of feels like a punch in the stomach. But again, it was all just a balancing act of tone.”