Writer-Director Vera Drew Says 'The People's Joker' "Will Screen Again"

Vera Drew releases a statement on the future of 'The People's Joker'
The cast and crew of 'The People's Joker'Credit: Brian de Rivera Simon/Getty Images
Writer-Director Vera Drew isn't going to let an angry letter stop her from showing her film to the world. 

If you haven't heard the news, Vera Drew's The People's Joker was pulled from future TIFF screenings after Warner Bros. served a cease-and-desist order against the film. This means that the film will probably struggle to see the light of day ever again despite the content and story being a unique work that parodies well-known DC characters. 

On Wednesday night, Drew released a statement on what happened between TIFF, the legal status of The People's Joker, and where the filmmaker will go from here. In the letter, Drew notes that the production was not hit by a cease-and-desist from "a media conglomerate that shall remain nameless," but was instead sent an "angry letter" that pressured her to not screen the film. 

"Any other film festival would have pulled us immediately, but after being fully transparent with TIFF, we agreed to premiere as planned while scaling back out later screenings to mitigate potential blowback," Drew wrote in her notes app. "It was disappointing (especially since I went to great lengths with legal counsel to have it fall under parody/fair use) but I made this choice to protect our film's future and to protect our new friends at TIFF who have been some of [The People's Joker's] biggest advocates." 

Drew ends the note by saying that the film will screen again at several other festivals worldwide despite this, with the hopes that the film will find a distributor who believes in the project and will protect them and their rights as creatives. 

Although the film is not scheduled for any screenings at Fantastic Fest next week, Drew is remaining optimistic about the future of the film and is working to get The People's Joker out for the world to see.

Drew concluded her message with a rallying cry to fans of the film, which she described as a queer coming-of-age story about being trans and working in comedy,” with: “FREE THE PEOPLE’S JOKER.”

Let us know what you think on the matter in the comments below!     

You Might Also Like

Your Comment


Saw the trailer. It's a dreadful POS that we should somehow rally behind because it contains all the current social relevant checkmarks.
It's still a POS film, and the TIFF should be embarrassed for giving this dreadful garbage, using stolen IP, a time slot, instead of something more deserving.

So stop shilling this garbage film, and it's underlying idea that it's ok to steal.

And no, it's not unique.
Unique would be making something original, not based on someone elses idea.

September 16, 2022 at 1:41PM, Edited September 16, 1:44PM


People should be able to make films about whatever they want to make films about.

If you're having a tizzy about a small filmmaker "stealing" IP just wait until you hear about what the billionaires who run the Warner Bros conglomerate have stolen from everyone to get where they are.

Screw this IP, in an industry designed to take money away from filmmakers and put it in the pockets of people who don't make films, we should all be stealing IP and leveling the playing field. Even if this film stole IP It's only going to impact a few billionaires who have done more damage to you and I personally than this film will do to them.

Artists should always be allowed to make their art. Thank you to Vera for being more punk than any of us :)

September 17, 2022 at 9:40AM


No, stealing someone else's work is not "Art". It's theft.
And there's nothing "Punk" about it.

September 17, 2022 at 1:13PM, Edited September 17, 1:13PM


In this case, I strongly disagree. But it seems like you already have your mind made up on a film you haven't even seen yet.

So, I guess all I'll say is... It's all going to be okay, my man. Everyone is going to be just fine. No need to get this worked up over a woman making her art.

September 17, 2022 at 9:47PM