On July 20th 2012 during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora Colorado, a mass shooter snuck into the screening and opened fire on the theater, killing twelve people and injuring nearly 60 more. Many were tragically affected by this, as a seemingly normal night at the movies turned out to be a terrible act of gun violence. The situation has been brought up again recently due to the release of DC’s upcoming film, Joker.
The Aurora Police Department recently announced that Joker will not be playing at the Century Theater where the initial 2012 shooting occurred, mainly due to concerns with the film’s upcoming release. The department released a statement stating, “We ask you take time to remember those lives lost seven years ago. 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.”
Prior to this recent decision, a letter was sent to Warner Bros on Monday from Sandy Phillips, Lonnie Phillips, Tiina Coon, Thteresa Hoover and Heather Dearman regarding the film’s release. Despite stating their support of free expression and freedom of speech, they expressed some concern with the film for giving an otherwise villainous character a sympathetic origins story. They also quoted the original Spider-Man film citing in regards to releasing a film like this that, “with great power, comes great responsibility”. The letter also cited that Warner Bros should make some contribution to prevent gun violence in the U.S. by actively lobbying for gun reform and contributing to survivor funds. The letter ends with the statement, “Since the federal government has failed to pass reforms that raise the standard for gun ownership in America, large companies like Warner Brothers have a responsibility to act. We certainly hope that you do”.
Joker is set for release October 4th 2019.