Family members of the Aurora movie-theater shooting victims reportedly expressed concerns about ‘Joker’ in a letter to Warner Bros.

  • Some family members of the victims of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado mass shooting are sending a letter to Warner Bros. to express concerns over its upcoming movie, "Joker," according to The Hollywood Reporter, which obtained a copy of the letter.
  • The letter urges Warner Bros. to use its "political clout and leverage in Congress to actively lobby for gun reform," according to THR.
  • Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, but told THR that it has not received the letter yet and "cannot comment on a letter we have not seen."
  • 12 people were killed and 70 more were injured during the attack at an Aurora movie theater during a midnight screening of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," in July 2012.
  • The shooter, James Holmes, was compared to Batman's popular foe because he had bright-orange, dyed hair. Reports indicated that he called himself "The Joker" while being arrested, but The Denver Post debunked this.
  • There are no showtimes listed or advanced tickets available for "Joker" at the website of the theater where the shooting took place, Century Aurora and XD. A theater employee told THR that's because the film will not be shown there.
  • Sandy Phillips, whose 24-year-old daughter Jessica Ghawi was among those killed, told THR that she was worried that "Joker" could encourage anyone "who is on the edge, who is wanting to be a mass shooter."
  • Reviews of the movie have noted its graphic violence. Business Insider's Jason Guerrasio called it "an ultra-violent drama."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Some family members of the victims of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado mass shooting — in which 12 people were killed and 70 more were injured at a movie theater during a midnight screening of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" — are reportedly sending a letter to Warner Bros. to express concerns over its upcoming movie, "Joker," an origin story about Batman's famous foe.

The Hollywood Reporter's Ryan Parker obtained a copy of the letter, which is signed by five family members of those killed during the massacre. It urges the studio to "donate to groups that aid victims of gun violence," according to THR.

The letter doesn't ask for a boycott of the movie or for its release to be canceled, according to THR, but asks Warner Bros. to use its "political clout and leverage in Congress to actively lobby for gun reform."

Warner Bros. and the movie's director, Todd Phillips, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. Warner Bros. told THR that it had not received the letter and "cannot comment on a letter we have not seen."

The Aurora shooter, James Holmes, was compared to the Joker because he had bright-orange, dyed hair. Reports indicated that he called himself "The Joker" while being arrested, but The Denver Post debunked this. Holmes is serving life in prison.

The Cinemark movie theater where the shooting took place, Century Aurora and XD, will not be showing "Joker," according to THR. Advanced tickets or showtimes for the movie are not currently available at the theater's website or at ticket service Fandango

A theater employee told THR that "advance ticket purchases were not available because the film will not be shown at the venue."

"My worry is that one person who may be out there — and who knows if it is just one — who is on the edge, who is wanting to be a mass shooter, may be encouraged by this movie," Sandy Phillips (no relation to the director), whose 24-year-old daughter Jessica Ghawi was among those killed, told THR.

"Joker" has been praised by movie critics ahead of its release on October 4, but reviews have also noted its graphic violence. Business Insider's Jason Guerrasio called it "an ultra-violent drama that takes heavy influence from movies like Martin Scorsese's 'The King of Comedy' and 'Taxi Driver.'"

Nevertheless, the movie is expected to be a box-office hit in early projections. Boxoffice Pro is estimating the movie to make $103 million domestically in its opening weekend, which would blow past the October box-office record set by last year's "Venom" with $80 million.

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