Joker director Todd Phillips might insist that the film’s depiction of real-world violence is responsible, but it looks like the Federal Bureau of Investigations isn’t going to play it safe when there are growing concerns that the film might incite tragedies from individuals with the same personality and demeanor as Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck.
The FBI recently sent a statement to The Hollywood Reporter this Thursday confirming that it’s keeping a close eye on Joker-related social media posts, careful checking if any red flags begin appearing during the movie’s official premiere on Friday night.
"While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is in touch with our law enforcement and private sector partners about the online posts," the FBI wrote in its statement. "As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activity to law enforcement."
Aside from the statement, ABC News also reports that the FBI has been receiving tips about “unspecific mass shootings” linked to the Joker’s release since May this year.
This isn’t the first time that the government has expressed concern over the possibility of violence during Joker’s screenings. The military confirmed that there has been at least one “credible report” of a potential shooting during the film’s premiere and the New York Police Department has just recently announced that it would be patrolling cinemas screening the film to ensure that all of the film’s viewers are safe.
Luckily, these concerns don’t seem to be affecting Joker’s tracking. The film is expected to have strong numbers at the national and global box office when it premieres tomorrow.
Joker opens October 4, 2019.