Published On: Sun, Oct 6th, 2019

Joker screening cancelled in US after ‘credible threat’ | Ents & Arts News

A US cinema has cancelled screenings of the new Joker movie following a “credible” threat, according to police.

The film, starring Joaquin Phoenix as Batman’s sadistic nemesis, has proved controversial for its portrayal of violence and there have been heightened security fears surrounding its release.

The cinema in Huntington Beach in California cancelled two Thursday night showings after police were called.

The Huntington Beach Police Department said it had received reports of a possible threat to the Century Theatre at the Bella Terra shopping centre and were treating it as “credible”.

Handout photo of James Holmes in Denver Colorado
James Holmes killed 12 people during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in 2012

The cinema reopened on Friday, police said, but declined to provide details of the threat.

Police in cities across the US, including New York and Las Vegas, have stepped up patrols at cinemas showing the movie.

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker
Phoenix plays Batman’s sadistic nemesis

Family members of victims of a 2012 mass shooting by a man reportedly identifying himself as Joker have expressed concerns about the film.

Twelve people died and 70 were injured in the attack during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.

The killer was dressed in full body armour and armed with guns, including an assault rifle.

Joker is directed by Todd Phillips and acts as an origins story for Joker.

Todd Phillips (left) and Joaquin Phoenix attend a special screening of Joker at Cineworld Leicester Square on September 25, 2019 in London
Director Todd Phillips (left) and Joaquin Phoenix

Set in 1981, it follows failed stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck, who turns to a life of crime in Gotham City.

Warner Bros, the studio behind the film, has defended it, saying “neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind”.

The film, rated a 15 in the UK for “strong bloody violence”, also features Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz and Frances Conroy in supporting roles.

Joker is in UK cinemas now.

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