What good is parody law if we can’t use it to transcribe the gender of certain characters?
public joker Loosely adapts the content of the film clown The story of a trans stand-up comedian featuring several notable DC Comics characters.
The crowdfunded, equal parts progressive and absurd film was set to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Following a strongly worded letter from Warner Bros. Discovery, the film was allowed to its original premiere, but all subsequent screenings were dropped from the festival’s lineup.
On the festival’s website, the film’s page displays a message that reads, “The filmmaker has withdrawn this film due to rights issues. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
After much speculation, director Vera Drew gave an official statement on the situation:
A statement from Vera on what happened at TIFF, the legal status of the Joker people, and where we go from here pic.twitter.com/TJCneaEUDW
— Vera Drew (@veradru22) September 16, 2022
related: 6 Lady Gaga songs we want to hear in the ‘Joker’ musical sequel
It’s understandable that Warner Bros. Discovery is in a desperate position to protect its IP at the moment.
The big announcement of a merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery has been surrounded by controversy, from that weird HBO Max/Discovery+ demographic analysis leak to dozens of properties being pulled from HBO Max for allegedly avoiding paying royalties on them. For.
A series of strangely publicized moves cost the company billions in market share in a very short period of time, so the general hesitation is understandable at the moment.
Allowing an indie trans Joker movie to have its moment in the sun may have put them a good way toward winning back some goodwill with the online queer community, but it seems like the time has passed for it.
related: Beyond Batman: The Secret LGBTQ Stars of One of TV’s Busiest Shows
The film’s removal from the festival has prompted fans across the web to write-in for TIFF’s “People’s Choice” award.
“We’re the only movie with ‘people’ in the title, so it’s only fair,” Drew wrote. a tweet on Thursday.
Fans are also lobbying for the film in the hashtag “#FreeThePeoplesJoker”:
We’re proud to stand with Vera and the rest of the incredible team who helped bring People’s Joker to life.
We will be screening the film at our upcoming festivals Metamorphoses in Sydney (October 1) and Melbourne (October 22).#FREETHEPEOPLESJOKER https://t.co/kvCsMbyADS
— Static Vision (@StaticVisionAU) September 16, 2022
Whatever amount I would pay to see what is said in that letter and to see the face of the pearl-clutcher who wrote it after becoming a boon of publicity. In true jokes, it keeps getting funny. #freethepeoplesjoker https://t.co/4viggbxx4n
— Tucker Woolley⚡️(Looking for work!) (@tucker13x) September 16, 2022
Still eligible for People’s Choice at TIFF! #FREETHEPEOPLESJOKER https://t.co/yBsZSjqAEF
— Amanda The Jedi @ TIFF (@AmandaTheJedi) September 16, 2022
People’s Joker being removed from TIFF is much more than just a copyright issue. Trans rights, capitalism, and community. Weighing in over 100 cast and 1 proven filmmaker @VeraDrew22 Telling your story through a parody of a beloved IP. You must be flattered, West Bengal! #FREETHEPEOPLESJOKER
— KG (@554mariposa) 14 September 2022
I wish I could see people’s joker, subversive queer art being shut down by corporate interests is messed up #freethepeoplesjoker
— cordelia ️️ post op retrieving (@CordeliaOfSeas) 14 September 2022
— David Binch (@jackEdaytona) 14 September 2022
Warner Bros.’ intimidation about “The People’s Joker” is a loss on their part because it looks absolutely epic and we need to see it. I remember a long time ago Vera said she was going to make it and now here we are. Free Joker! #FreeThePeoplesJoker https://t.co/pExtjch6eQ
— what’s left of your flesh I’ll take as my meal🐍 (@VisceralEntropy) 14 September 2022
While the next steps for this team are not yet clear, Drew has assured fans that he will get a chance to see the film soon:
I don’t know how is going today and my team wants me not to say anything so I’ll be unclear… movie, you’re coming soon. Stay tuned and stay with me. need your help pic.twitter.com/RcFIWYsUFi
— Vera Drew (@veradru22) 13 September 2022
public joker A few more festivals have stalled in the immediate future, but the search for a distribution partner is on.
The development of the film was the work of a large audience of over a hundred creatives and donors. It seems like the future of the film is also in the hands of its supporters.
Watch the trailer for Parody Faltu public joker,