US Army warns of possible mass shooting at 'Joker' screening

Joaquin Phoenix in 'Joker.' (Warner Bros)
Joaquin Phoenix in 'Joker.' (Warner Bros)

Cape Town – The US Army has reportedly issued a warning to servicemen about the potential threat of a mass shooting at screenings of Joker.

The Warner Bros film starring Joaquin Phoenix has come under fire for 'portraying the murderous outcast villain as a hero.'

Earlier this week the families of the Aurora mass shooting wrote an open letter to the studio expressing their concerns.

In 2012 masked gunmen opened fire into a cinema during the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises killing 12 people and injuring 58.

READ MORE: Warner Bros responds to backlash after victims of mass shooting raise concerns about the 'Joker'

Gizmodo reports that the US Army confirmed that a warning was sent out after social media posts related to extremists classified as 'incels' were uncovered by intelligence officials at the FBI.

Another memo sent out on Monday said that the Army acquired credible intelligence from Texas law enforcement relating to "disturbing and very specific chatter" on the dark web "regarding the targeting of an unknown movie theatre during the release," reports the website.

The television station KSWO reports that Chief of Public Affairs for the US Army Criminal Investigation Command, Christopher Grey confirmed that the threat is real but that there isn't a specific location. 

According to the Telegraph, the term 'incels' refers to men who are "involuntarily celibate" and blame their situation on women."

The warning by the Army went on to explain that 'incels' idolise the Joker character and admire his depiction of a man who must pretend to be happy but eventually fights back at bullies.

The memo further added that when entering theatres servicemen must identify two escape routes, be aware of their surroundings and remember the phrase 'run, hide, fight,' reports IndieWire.

Joker releases in cinemas Friday, 4 October.

Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht. (Sources: Channel24, Gizmodo, Telegraph, IndieWire, KSWO)