Release of 'Joker' movie prompts increased security at theaters

SEATTLE — A midnight movie release on Thursday has prompted increased security at movie theaters across the country.

People may see more police at the opening of the controversial new movie, “Joker.”

Some fear the story that shows what caused an unstable man to turn to violence portrays the character in a sympathetic light that could encourage others to commit violent acts.

The FBI has said it's looking into posts made by extremists about the movie and warnings over potential shootings at movie screenings.

>>Related: Joaquin Phoenix's 'Joker' won't be shown at Aurora, Colorado, theater

Some agencies like the King County Sheriff's Office said they will post deputies near theaters.

Theaters, such as AMC and Landmark, will allow moviegoers to wear costumes but not masks or face paint.

Part of the fear over the movie comes from the shooting at a previous Batman film in Aurora, Colorado, where 12 people were killed.

>>Related: Aurora survivors urge 'Joker' studio to support gun control

Tina Coon's son was killed in the 2012 shooting.

“I think it’s sad that people react to a fake story and make it real,” said Coon.

“Joker” actor Joaquin Phoenix says it's not the filmmaker's responsibility to teach morality.

"If you have somebody that has that level of emotional disturbance, I think that they can find fuel anywhere,” said Phoenix.

>>Related: Joaquin Phoenix discusses preparing for role in 'Joker'

The movie is reportedly set to break October release records, and some people say the controversy may generate more curiosity and ticket sales.