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Queer Superhero Parody ‘The People’s Joker’ Opens Amid “Amicable” Conversations With Warner Bros.; R-Rated Brit Period Comedy ‘Wicked Little Letters’ Goes Wide – Specialty Preview

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Vera Drew’s The People’s Joker – which was pulled from TIFF in 2022 over “rights issues” — starts a theatrical debut today at the IFC Center, moving to LA’s Landmark’s Nuart next weekend and expanding thereafter with about 85 booking so far — a nice outcome for the mixed-media coming-of-age dark superhero parody that “had gone into into hibernation mode” until Outfest LA Film Festival, said Frank Jaffe, whose distribution company Altered Innocence acquired it then.

It’s U.S premiere garnered a Special Mention in the North American Narrative Feature Competition. Co-written by Drew and Bri LeRose, the film is a reimagining the origin story of iconic Batman villain The Joker, starring Drew as painfully unfunny aspiring clown and closeted trans girl grappling with her gender identity while unsuccessfully attempting to join the ranks of Gotham City’s sole comedy program, in a world where comedy has been outlawed.

She unites with a ragtag team of rejects and misfits on a collision course with the caped crusader controlling the city. Features comedic talent in voice and live action lampooning DC heroes and villians including cameos by Bob Odenkirk, Tim Heidecker, Maria Bamford (Netflix’s Big Mouth, Adult Swim’s Teenage Euthanasia), and Scott Aukerman (Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, co-creator, host Comedy Bang!

Bang! podcast). With Vera Drew, Lynn Downey (Daisy Jones & The Six), Nathan Faustyn and Kane Distler. Objections from WBD had the film premiere as planned in the Midnight Section at TIFF but cancel all further screenings at the festival.

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