DC's Joker movie is a little over a week away from landing in theaters, but some are already beginning to worry about the film's potential real-life impact. Among the conversation is a joint letter from family members of victims of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting, which occurred during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the since-renovated theater where the shooting occurred, which is now known as Century Aurora and XD, will not be screening Joker.
"The theater chain did not respond to a request for comment." the report explains. "But as of Monday night, no showtimes were listed online for Joker at the Aurora multiplex, and a theater employee told THR that advance ticket purchases were not available because the film will not be shown at the venue."
The letter from the families of Aurora victims is addressed to new Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff, and voices concerns that someone could be inspired by Joker to carry out violent acts.
"[The Aurora shooting was] perpetrated by a socially isolated individual who felt 'wronged' by society [and acted]." the letter reads in part. "As a result, we have committed ourselves to ensuring that no other family ever has to go through the absolute hell we have experienced and the pain we continue to live with. Trust us, it does not go away."
The letter does not call for a boycott of the film and its release, but asks Warner Bros. to use its power to help prevent further tragedies from happening.
"End political contributions to candidates who take money from the NRA and vote against gun reform," the letter reads, "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."
Warner Bros. has since responded to the letter, in a statement that you can read below.
"Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies," Warner Bros. said in a statement. "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 bi-partisan 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."
Joker will be released in theaters on October 4th.