Feverishly addressing concerns that the cast and crew in attendance at this week’s Joker premiere might not be safe from the looming threat of people asking them questions about Joker, Warner Bros. announced today that it’s disinviting interviewers from the interview portion of the comic book movie’s Hollywood premiere. The move comes after increasing concerns that star Joaquin Phoenix might end up being accosted with pointed commentary or dangerously loaded questions about the film’s content, of the sort that briefly caused him to abandon an interview with The Telegraph promoting the film last week.
“Our red carpet is comprised of photographers only,” a studio spokesperson told Variety today, adding that “A lot has been said about Joker, and we just feel it’s time for people to see the film.” (Translation: Kindly shut the fuck up and look at the pretty people, please.) Both Phoenix and director Todd Phillips have expressed their unhappiness with people raising the question of whether their movie about a depressed, mentally ill man who turns to violence to express his alienation with the world might spark something in certain similarly disturbed people; Phillips blasted pretty much the entire critical conversation around his film earlier this week, wondering why we’re all so hung up on the realistically shot, headline-mimicking violence of his movie, rather than the over-the-top antics of Keanu Reeves’ John Wick, a cartoon superhero who somehow owns an infinite number of knives.
Critics and reporters will still be allowed into the premiere proper, but the red carpet has been rendered a space safe from their incessant, hectoring, super-villain-esque questions about the content of Phillips’ film, as well as the decisions he made while making it. The premiere is scheduled for this Saturday, while the film opens nationwide next week.