YouTube [Vera Drew]

Toronto International Film Festival has pulled a film starring a trans Joker due to issues with the film’s rights.

The People’s Joker was created by independent filmmaker Vera Drew.

Drew wrote, directed and starred in the movie, which was her feature film debut.

The film followed a trans clown who opened an underground comedy club, and was a “queer, coming-of-age Joker origin tale.”

“After years of numbing herself with Smylex, an unfunny clown named Joker grapples with gender identity, first love, and a fascist caped crusader all while founding an illegal comedy theatre in Gotham City,” summarised Drew in a tweet.

It only managed to have one screening before being hit with a cease and desist order from Warner Bros.

TIFF subsequently pulled the film from its slot and posted a statement on its official website.

It reads: “The filmmaker has withdrawn this film due to rights issues.”

The People’s Joker has incurred issues due to the issues surrounding the similarities to DC Comics characters.

The title card for the film emphasised there was no crossover between the films.

It stated The People’s Joker was “completely unauthorised by Detective Comics, Warner Brothers, and anyone claiming ownership of the trademarks therein. All materials used fall under fair use.”

Drew took to Twitter on 13 September to comment on the situation.

She wrote: “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.”

Stay tuned and stay with me. Need ur help,” she signed off.

Fans of the movie are using the hashtag #FREETHEPEOPLESJOKER in a bid to get the film released.

On 14 September, Drew sent a statement to The Daily Beast, which stated: “Everyone is going to get the chance to see this film. I don’t respond well to bullying or pressure from faceless institutions. It only emboldens me and what I was saying with this film.”

“We’re looking at buyers and distribution partners who will protect us and make this film accessible to trans people and their families everywhere.”