‘Joker’ Director Says They Didn’t Make The Film To Push Buttons

Joaquin Phoenix Joker Todd Phillips Oscar

Joker director Todd Phillips responded the concerns some have about the Joaquin Phoenix film’s potential to inspire real-world violence.

While Joker debuted at the Venice Film Festival to acclaim and emerged as an early awards season contender after screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, some expressed concerns about the tone of the Joaquin Phoenix film. For this new version of the Joker, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix depicted the Batman villain as a mentally ill man who feels victimized by society and commits acts of violence as a result.

The similarities between Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker and the men who have committed mass shootings across the United States did not go unnoticed, with many fearing the film could inspire troubled individuals to carry out acts of violence. In an interview with The Wrap, director Todd Phillips pushed back against the criticism and explained the intention was not to glorify the horrific behavior of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker:

“We didn’t make the movie to push buttons. I literally described to Joaquin at one point in those three months as like, ‘Look at this as a way to sneak a real movie in the studio system under the guise of a comic book film’. It wasn’t, ‘We want to glorify this behavior.’ It was literally like ‘Let’s make a real movie with a real budget and we’ll call it f–ing Joker’. That’s what it was.”

What do you make of Todd Phillips comments? Do you share in these concerns over Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker potential for real-world consequences? Let us know below!

Here is the official synopsis for 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 fracturedsociety. 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, Warner Bros.’ Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham.

Joker will be released in theaters on October 4, 2019.

Source: The Wrap

Sebastian Peris

Sebastian Peris

Canadian film buff, political junkie, comic book geek, and board game enthusiast.