‘The People’s Joker,’ Queer Film Set in Batman Universe, Pulled From TIFF Lineup Due to ‘Rights Issues’

“If you’ve been waiting and aching to watch our movie, you’re going to get to soon,” said writer-director Vera Drew

Courtesy of TIFF

“The People’s Joker,” a queer film that takes place in the Batman franchise’s Gotham City, will no longer screen at TIFF due to “rights issues.”

After announcing the decision via the festival’s website, writer-director-star Vera Drew asked audiences to “stay tuned and stay with me.”

“I have no clue how today goes and my team wants me to say nothing of course so I’ll stay vague…but whatever happens in the next few hours, I want you to know…if you’ve been waiting and aching to watch our movie, ur going to get to soon,” she wrote on Twitter. “Stay tuned and stay with me. Need ur help.”

“The People’s Joker,” which was scheduled for three showings this week, stars Drew as an aspiring clown who dreams of landing a part on a TV sketch show with Jokers and Harlequins as she struggles with her gender identity.

The film’s official synopsis reads: “With comedy criminalized in Gotham City, the show is the only government-sanctioned space for funny people, but only those who will toe the party line. Disillusioned by a botched audition, Vera partners with a birdlike slacker to found their own alternative comedy troupe, attracting not only a rogues’ gallery of would-be comics, but also the ire of a fascistic caped crusader.”

A spokesperson for the production had no further comment, nor did TIFF. TheWrap has reached out to Drew and Warner Bros. Discovery, which did not immediately offer a response.