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‘Joker’ red carpet interviews in Los Angeles called off

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Los Angeles, Sep 28 (IANS) The makers of “Joker” have decided to call off plans of red carpet interviews at the film’s Los Angeles premiere, after facing scrutiny over violence.

Warner Bros. Entertainment have decided to restrict access for journalists at the red carpet, scheduled to take place on Saturday at the TCL Chinese Theatre. The event will now only allow photographers access to talent and filmmakers, reports variety.com.

Expected guests include star Joaquin Phoenix, director Todd Philips, and supporting stars like Zazie Beetz and Frances Conroy.

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“Our red carpet is comprised of photographers only,” a studio spokesperson said, adding: “A lot has been said about ‘Joker’, and we just feel it’s time for people to see the film.”

The move to restrict access to interviews comes after a week of headlines about the violent and provocative nature of the film.

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The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has also decided to increase its visibility at cinema halls when “Joker” releases next week.

“The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of public concerns and the historical significance associated with the premiere of ‘Joker’. While there are no credible threats in the Los Angeles area, the department will maintain high visibility around theaters when it opens,” said department spokesman Josh Rubenstein.

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A cinema chain Landmark is prohibiting costume play based on Phoenix’s turn as the iconic Batman villain.

There have been concerns that the film might incite violence in the society since the movie’s debut at the Venice Film Festival. Some have even expressed their concerns that the thriller might paint the central mass murderer sympathetically.

In 2012, a shooter killed 12 people and injured 70 others at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado.

In fact, families of some of the victims have raised concerns about “Joker”, in which Phoenix will be seen playing the character as a depressed loner whose failures as a stand-up comedian provoke him to go on a violent rampage. The Warner Bros. film is about how Arthur Fleck became Joker.

The studio responded, saying that “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 film opens in India on October 2.

–IANS

sug/vnc

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