Joker Audience Evacuates After Suspicious Man "Surveys" Crowd

One man is in custody after causing a panic at a Joker screening Saturday night. According to a report from the Long Beach Post, police were dispatched to Edwards Cinemas in the Long Beach Towne Center at 9:00 p.m. Saturday night for a "shots call." When police arrived, they found one audience watching Joker had self-evacuated after a "suspicious subject" walked into the movie theater wearing a backpack.

As revealed in a statement released by the Long Beach Police Department, the subject in question walked to the front of the theater and "surveyed" the crowd. The statement also says police responded within a minute of the first call and detained the subject without incident and was later found to not be in possession of any firearms. The subject was then taken into custody due to an unrelated outstanding warrant.

“The preliminary investigation revealed that during the presentation of the ‘Joker’ movie, a male adult subject walked to the front of the theatre while wearing a backpack,” Long Beach police spokesperson Arantxa Chavarria told the Post. “As the subject was surveying the crowd, the patrons were fearful he was in possession of a weapon and ran out of the theatre.”

The tense moment comes after weeks of controversy surrounding the content of the film, which eventually caused the United States Army to send out a security bulletin to members of the military in regards to a "credible" safety threat. Joker director Todd Phillips had previously said they didn't make the movie to "press buttons."

"We didn't make the movie to push buttons," Phillips said. "I literally described to Joaquin at one point in those three months as like, 'Look at this as a way to sneak a real movie in the studio system under the guise of a comic book film'. It wasn't, 'We want to glorify this behavior.' It was literally like 'Let's make a real movie with a real budget and we'll call it f–ing Joker'. That's what it was."

10comments

Joker is now in theaters. Other upcoming DC Films movies include Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.

Have you seen the latest DC Comics film yet? If so, share your thoughts on it in the comments below!