US Army Issues Warning To Soldiers Going To See Joker
‘Run if you can. If you’re stuck, hide and stay quiet. If a shooter finds you, fight with whatever you can’ – this is the US Army’s warning to cinemas over possible mass shootings at screenings of Joker.
This comes after FBI officials uncovered ‘disturbing and very specific chatter’ on the dark web and social media ‘regarding the targeting of an unknown movie theater’ in Texas from incel extremists.
As reported by Gizmodo, service members were urged in an email to ‘identify two escape routes’ in the event of a shooting.
Check out latest trailer for the film below:
The widely distributed safety alert was sent as a result of the FBI and army’s ‘credible’ intelligence, however the military added that it was unaware of any specific plots or suspects.
The notice, which was marked ‘For Official Use Only’, was relayed to service members more as a precautionary measure, it said.
Commenting on the warning, a US Army spokesperson said:
We do this routinely because the safety and security of our workforce is paramount
We want our workforce to be prepared and diligent on personal safety both inside the workplace and out.
In the email, army officials claimed that incels ‘also idolize the Joker character, the violent clown from the Batman series, admiring his depiction as a man who must pretend to be happy, but eventually fights back against bullies’.
‘Incel’ was a term coined in the 90s: it’s a self-professed definition of ‘involuntarily celibate’ men who blame their situation on women.
The new film – which looks to be a dark, twisted odyssey through the origin of the iconic Batman foe, this time played by Joaquin Phoenix – has been sparking concerns ahead of its release.
Check out the first trailer below:
Family members of the infamous Dark Knight Rises massacre in Aurora, Colorado, recently penned a letter to Warner Bros. with concerns about the upcoming movie.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, part of the letter reads:
We are calling on you to be a part of the growing chorus of corporate leaders who understand that they have a social responsibility to keep us all safe.
In 2012, James Holmes opened fire on an Aurora Cinemark theatre audience, taking the lives of 12 people and injuring a further 70. Reports circulated in the fallout claiming he called himself ‘The Joker’, although authorities have denied this.
In response, Warner Bros. issued a statement – extending their sympathy to the families while acknowledging that gun control and violence is a critical issue. However, they add that Joker is not an endorsement of ‘real-world violence’.
The statement reads:
At the same time, 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.
Joker has been showered in praise the lead up to its wide release in October, with many critics claiming it to be the film of the year: Empire’s editor-in-chief Terri White called it ‘bold, devastating and utterly beautiful’.
After much speculation, the UK’s BBFC officially gave the film a 15 rating for ‘strong bloody violence, language’. In the US, it’s been rated R for ‘strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language, and brief sexual images’.
Speaking on the controversy in an interview with The Wrap, the film’s director Todd Phillips said:
We didn’t make the movie to push buttons. I’m surprised… isn’t it good to have these discussions? Isn’t it good to have these discussions about these movies, about violence? Why is that a bad thing if the movie does lead to a discourse about it?
I think it’s because outrage is a commodity… What’s outstanding to me in this discourse in this movie is how easily the far left can sound like the far right when it suits their agenda. It’s really been eye opening for me.
The official synopsis describes the film as an ‘exploration of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a man disregarded by society… not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale’.
It appears to be made in the vein of classic character studies – which also deal with very problematic, male characters – such as Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy.
Joker hits UK cinemas on October 4.
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The Hollywood Reporter