David Fincher Blasts Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker’ For Its Depiction Of Mental Illness

The 'Mank' director says 'Joker' betrayed the mentally ill.

Joaquin Phoenix Joker David Fincher Todd Philips

Director David Fincher recently took aim at Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, saying it betrayed those who suffer with mental illness.

Joker has been controversial ever since it debuted thanks to its shocking violence and Joaquin Phoenix’s harrowing depiction of Arthur Fleck. But in a recent interview ahead of the Netflix release of Mank, director David Fincher blasted the DC film for how it showed mental illness on-screen and used it to its advantages, which betrays those who actually struggle on a daily basis. He explained to The Telegraph that had The Dark Knight not been successful, Joker wouldn’t have been the hit that it was.

David Fincher is no stranger to taking on films that tackle mental health, with Fight Club being probably the most extreme depiction of dissociative identity disorder alongside James Mangold’s Identity. He also noted in the interview that the Todd Phillips film essentially combines two characters from Martin Scorsese’s filmography — Taxi Driver‘s Travis Bickle and The King of Comedy‘s Rupert Pupkin. Take a look at David Fincher discussing Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker below.

“Nobody would have thought they had a shot at a giant hit with ‘Joker’ had ‘The Dark Knight’ not been as massive as it was. I don’t think ­anyone would have looked at that material and thought, Yeah, let’s take Travis Bickle and Rupert Pupkin and conflate them, then trap him in a betrayal of the mentally ill, and trot it out for a billion dollars,”

Do you agree with David Fincher? What did you think of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker? Sound-off in the comments below.

Here is the official synopsis for Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker:

Director Todd Phillips “Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.

Directed by Todd Phillips from a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver, the film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham.

Joker is now available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital. Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for all the latest news surrounding DC Films and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video content in the future!

Source: The Telegraph

Eammon Jacobs

Eammon Jacobs

British dork who can be found online raving about how good Tron: Legacy is.