For a little while it seemed The People’s Joker might be lost to time, a new generation’s Day the Clown Cried or, if you like, Promises Written in Water. Despite an initial screening in TIFF’s Midnight Madness program, director Vera Drew pulled her film from subsequent showings over rights issues. (Though exact details weren’t provided, we needn’t tell you how litigious companies of DC’s size and power can be when blood gets in the water.) Yet it came to light this December that The People’s Joker would open spring 2024 via Altered Innocence, and ahead of its April 5 debut at the IFC Center (with nationwide bookings to follow), there’s a trailer for the feature a PR email informs us “is in no way created by, endorsed by, or affiliated with DC Comics or any of its related companies.”

What’s seen hews closer to Repo Chick than The Dark Knight, recalling also Tim and Eric––a fitting comparison given Drew’s involvement with many of their projects, to say nothing of Tim Heidecker appearing alongside David Liebe Hart. (Or cameos from Bob Odenkirk, Scott Aukerman, and Maria Bamford.) In any case: the best comic-book movie of 2024 is almost certainly upon us.

Find preview and poster below:

In the absurdist autobiographically-inspired dark comedy that boldly reimagines the Joker’s origin, a painfully unfunny aspiring clown (Vera Drew as Joker the Harlequin) grapples 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. Uniting with a ragtag team of rejects and misfits, Joker the Harlequin forms an illegal anti-comedy troupe that puts her on a collision course with the devious caped crusader controlling the city. 

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