The latest "Joker" film won't be shown at Century Aurora and XD, the venue where 12 people were killed by a man in full body armor who was armed with multiple guns during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, family members of the victims have signed a letter to Warner Bros., the studio behind Joaquin Phoenix's upcoming movie "Joker," directed by Todd Phillips. The letter asks the studio to donate to organizations benefiting gun violence victims and raises concerns about the film.
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"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," reads the letter, which was signed by five family members of victims and sent to Warner Bros. on Tuesday.
The letter does not ask that the studio halt the release of the R-rated film, which contains realistic depictions of violence. Phoenix is being praised for his performance, THR reported.
"My worry is that one person who may be out there -- and who knows if it is just one -- who is on the edge, who is wanting to be a mass shooter, may be encouraged by this movie," Sandy Phillips, a mother of one of the shooting victims, told THR. "And that terrifies me."
Phillips, who is not related to the director of the "Joker" film, crafted the letter with Igor Volsky, of the gun control advocacy group Guns Down America. She also created the nonprofit group Survivors Empowered, THR reported. Lonnie Phillips, Tina Coon, Theresa Hoover and Heather Dearman also signed the letter.
The letter, addressed to Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff, asks that the company "end political contributions to candidates who take money from the NRA and vote against gun reform" and "use your political clout and leverage in Congress to actively lobby for gun reform. Keeping everyone safe should be a top corporate priority for Warner Brothers."
Waner Bros. issued the following statement to THR in response to the letter:
"Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies. Our company has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora, and in recent weeks, our parent company joined other business leaders to call on policymakers to enact bipartisan legislation to address this epidemic. 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."
The Denver Channel reported Century Aurora and XD does not have any showtimes for the movie.
The Aurora Police Department confirmed the news, saying it will still provide "enhanced security" at the theater.
"We recognize this release may cause concern for the families, friends, first responders and beyond. We ask you take time to remember those lives lost seven years ago," APD said in a Facebook post. "Things like this can trigger many emotions and we urge you to see help if needed. We too are here for you if you need someone to talk to."