'Joker' Director Says You're Too 'Woke' For His Comedies Now
The director of the controversial 'Joker' film, Todd Phillips, claimed he was forced to move away from making comedies because it was impossible not to offend people.
In a feature for 'Vanity Fair' that focuses on the film's star, Joaquin Phoenix, Phillips reveals what prompted him to pitch the film in the first place.
Claiming that he approached Warner Bros. with the concept of 'Joker' as an antithesis to the Superhero films flooding cinemas at the moment, he also said that it had become more and more difficult to make comedies after Hollywood had become so "woke".
Phillips wrote and directed all three of the 'Hangover' films, co-wrote 'Borat', wrote and directed 'Starsky & Hutch', 'Old School' and 'School for Scoundrels'.
Apparently, recent shifts in the industry meant that Phillips no longer felt like he could create the groundbreaking cinema that brought us Zach Galifianakis in comedy t-shirts shouting classics like, "Hey! My name’s Alan and I bought a giraffe!"
"Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture," Phillips told 'Vanity Fair', "There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore—I’ll tell you why, because all the fucking funny guys are like, ‘Fuck this shit, because I don’t want to offend you.’"
Rather than arguing with "30 million people on Twitter", Phillips decided to move away from comedy and make 'Joker' instead.
"So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but f--k comedy? Oh I know, let’s take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.’ And so that’s really where that came from."
The film received tons of praise when it had its worldwide debut at the Venice Film Festival, receiving a seven-minute standing ovation and earning Phillips the Golden Lion (the festival's top prize).
'Joker' has also inspired law enforcement to step-up security measures, including an email that was sent to armed services in the United States reminding them what to do due to heightened risks of incel-extremist shootings in cinemas playing the film.
When asked about the response to the film, Phillips told the ABC, "I really truly don't know why people are disturbed by putting real-world implications on violence."
Due to the movie's themes (Alan Moore's 'Killing Joke' inspired the line that we're all just "one day away" from turning into the lunatic murderer ourselves), the film has been criticised of its depiction of gun violence, mental health and providing an on-screen hero for incels, receiving polarising responses from audiences who have seen early screenings.
Cinemas are banning masks, make-up and costumes at some cinemas in the United States, and the Aurora cinema where 12 people were killed in 2012 has said they'll refuse to play the film.
But for Phillips, he was just happy to "take $55 million from Warner Bros. and do whatever the hell we want".
You can read the full feature here.
Featured image: Getty Images.