Release of 'Joker' movie prompts security response in Chicago, across country

“The Joker” premiered Thursday night, but the new movie about the Batman villain is sparking security concerns.

Chicago police are on high alert after law enforcement were warned to be on the watch for copycats after the Aurora, Colorado Batman movie shooting.

"I don't like the way they're going with this Joker movie. It's not the Joker that I know. It looks weird to me,” said Robert Carter of Lincoln Square.

He is not alone.

Warner Brothers has faced a backlash from critics who say “The Joker” starring Joaquin Phoenix "glamorizes" a mass-killer, may inspire violence or even an Aurora, Colorado copy-cat. Victims of that shooting have requested that Warner Brothers donate a portion of box-office sales to gun victim charities.

A “National Awareness Bulletin” has gone out to law enforcement agencies across the country, and several major movie theater chains are banning face-paint, masks and costumes.

“I think people need to settle down. The Joker is a classic comic book character. He is known as a villain. That means his actions should not be replicated. And I think people should just enjoy the film and enjoy the art,” said David Kaplan of Lincoln Square.

The Chicagoans that FOX 32 talked to do not seem overly concerned.

“I don't think they're going to become copycats just from seeing this movie,” Carter said. “I honestly don't.”

“I’ve heard about the copycats. I'm more worried about censorship than I am about copycats. I've lived in this city my entire life and of course I’m concerned about violence, the mass shootings are horrible, but I’m very concerned about censorship, too, and I think there needs to be a balance between concern for violence. There's a lot of things that can incite violence,” said Jim Motzer of Lincoln Square.