‘Joker’ premiere disinvites interview press from Saturday’s Hollywood premiere

Warner Bros. Entertainment has restricted access for print and broadcast journalists from the red carpet at the upcoming U.S. premiere of “Joker.”

The event, which will take place on Saturday in Hollywood at the famous TCL Chinese Theatre, will now only allow photographers access to talent and filmmakers. Expected attendees include Joaquin Phoenix, director Todd Philips, and supporting stars like Zazie Beetz and Frances Conroy.

“Our red carpet is comprised of photographers only,” a studio spokesperson told Variety. “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, and measures to inform and protect American moviegoers as they prepare to screen it.

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NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor Joaquin Phoenix enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor Joaquin Phoenix enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor Joaquin Phoenix enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor Joaquin Phoenix enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor Joaquin Phoenix enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor Joaquin Phoenix is seen on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor Joaquin Phoenix is seen on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor Joaquin Phoenix is seen on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor Joaquin Phoenix is seen on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor Joaquin Phoenix is seen on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Actor Joaquin Phoenix is seen on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 08: Joaquin Phoenix sighting on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 08: Joaquin Phoenix sighting on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 08: Joaquin Phoenix sighting on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 08: Joaquin Phoenix sighting on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 08: Joaquin Phoenix sighting on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 08: Joaquin Phoenix sighting on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 10: Actor Joaquin Phoenix attends the premiere of 'Inherent Vice' at TCL Chinese Theatre on December 10, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 10: Actors/siblings Rain Phoenix and Joaquin Phoenix attend the premiere of 'Inherent Vice' at TCL Chinese Theatre on December 10, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Actors Marion Cotillard (L) and Joaquin Phoenix attends the Dior & Vanity Fair with The Cinema Society host the premiere of The Weinstein Company's 'The Immigrant' at The Paley Center for Media on May 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by J Carter Rinaldi/FilmMagic)
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Mid-size theater chain Landmark is prohibiting costume play based on Phoenix’s turn as the iconic Batman villain. On Thursday, Variety reported that the Los Angeles Police Department would increase its visibility at area theaters. The department said it has not received any specific threats about the movie, but encouraged moviegoers to be vigilant.

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

Concerns about the “Joker” movie and its portrayal of the titular character’s violent tendencies as a result of ostracization have sprung up since the movie’s debut at the Venice Film Festival, with some expressing worry the thriller paints the central mass murderer too sympathetically.

The families of the 2012 Aurora shooting signed a letter to Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoffthat, despite refraining from calling for “Joker” to be pulled from release, did say the movie’s “sympathetic origin story… gave us pause.”

Instead of calling for a boycott or ban, the families and friends of victims asked Warner Bros. to end political contributions to candidates who take money from the NRA and vote against gun reform; use its political clout to lobby congressional leaders for gun reform; and fund survivor funds and gun violence intervention programs.

Warner Bros. responded with a statement of its own on Tuesday, writing 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.”

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