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THE PEOPLE’S JOKER Trailer: Vera Drew’s Queer Superhero Parody Arrives in Theaters This Spring

The People's Joker

One film that has certainly made waves over the past few years is writer/director/actor Vera Drew’s superhero parody, The People’s Joker. Despite a world premiere screening at TIFF 2022, Drew had to pull it due to copyright issues. However, there was rejoicing in the air when it was announced Altered Innocence picked up the film for a release this spring. In this queer coming-of-age origin story, Drew portrays the legendary “Batman” villain that has been reimagined as a trans comedian grappling with her identity while forming an illegal troupe of misfits that puts her in the sights of the caped crusader. Lynn Downey, Nathan Faustyn, and Kane Distler also play lead characters, with Bob Odenkirk, Tim Heidecker, Maria Bamford, and Scott Aukerman making appearances.

Here’s the official synopsis:

This revolutionary DIY parody film and hilarious reimagining of the classic autobiographical coming-of-age story follows an unconfident, closeted trans girl as she moves to Gotham City to make it big as a comedian by joining the cast of UCB Live – a government-sanctioned late-night sketch show in a world where comedy has been outlawed. As mainstream success eludes our heroine, leading her to unite with a ragtag team of rejects, misfits, and a certain love interest named Mister J, “Joker the Harlequin” is born again as a confident (and psychotic) joker on a collision course with the city’s fascist caped crusader. Vats of feminizing chemicals, sexy cartoon interludes, scarecrow psychiatrists, CGI Lorne Michaels, and psychedelic gender dysphoria all play supporting roles. Helmed by writer/director/editor/star Vera Drew and using her own life experiences as a basis for the film, THE PEOPLE’S JOKER is a deeply personal journey that’s as much documentary as it is parody.

The People’s Joker opens in NYC’s IFC Center on April 5 and LA’s Landmark Nuart Theatre before expanding nationwide. Tickets are now on sale on the Altered Innocence website.

See the trailer and poster below.

THE PEOPLE'S JOKER Official Poster


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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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