How Joker Became the Most Hated, Loved, Obsessed-Over Movie of 2019

When The Joker hits 4,300 movie screens in North America on Friday, it will arrive in disguise with the kind of hype that definitely favors a studio distributor like Warner Bros. Avoid it: Anxiety that bold drama will inspire people who commit violence with firearms in the United States. The R-rated Todd Phillips and Batman spinoff offers a detailed origin story for the most famous Dark Knight antagonist, with Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix playing the menacing Gotham clown.

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The film, which is, yes, violent, has been widely described as “friendly” and “dangerous.” But that’s the movie’s bad connection to the 2012 shooting massacre in Aurora, Colorado, when James E. Holmes shot the Century 16 movie theater audience, killing 12 and wounding 70 during the writer’s midnight show and director Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight Rise, that’s raises a more specific concern for some. In a later released report, Holmes reportedly told law enforcement officers that he was a “prankster.” Now, three national theater series, as well as the authorities of several cities in the United States, have been put on high alert, so that the Joker does not provoke a similar bloodshed.

For their part, the filmmakers claim that their film has nothing to do with the ongoing national debate on gun violence and hope viewers will rate the Joker accordingly. “The important thing is to be bold, bold and different; anything you can do that is unique, from bringing the comic space to movies and television, is important,” Joker producer Michael Oslan told Vulture earlier this year. year. “The Joker movie, Todd Phillips’ view of him, is totally different. No one has seen a comedy like this before. I’m sure there will be people who love it and people will hate it. But it’s like watching Martin Scorsese. , a low-budget crime drama. It will be a unique experience. Extremely. ”

Meanwhile, pre-release tracking estimates suggest the film could attract $ 155 million during its first weekend in theaters, with a surprisingly strong forecast of $ 80 million in North America alone. “The entire movie has this sexy edge that cuts through the chaos and grabs your attention in a way that another superhero movie might not,” says Richard Rushfield, editor of the entertainment industry publication The Ankler. “Between the factual warnings and the intensity of the way the promotional material has appeared, you are very drawn to it.”

So how did the movie become something that audiences seemed to fear and demand to see at the same time? Below is the timeline for The Joker movie, the most controversial movies of the fall season:

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