‘Joker’ Director: Batman Isn’t the Real Reason the Movie Is Such a Major Hit

by Jeremy Spirogis
Todd Phillips on the red carpet

Warner Bros. didn’t consider Joker may very well be a billion-dollar hit. And now, following the movie’s launch, the studio is laughing all the way in which to the financial institution. Then once more, who would have believed a mid-budget, R-rated supervillain origin story about psychological sickness and classism would attain such heights? Apparently, the director of The Hangover trilogy.

In all seriousness, not even Todd Phillips possible predicted Joker would make the impression it has. Sure, comedian e book films are all the craze proper now. But Joker goes out of its strategy to dissociate itself from the style. Phillips’ movie even casts apart any connections to different DC Comics releases in its script. So please don’t inform Phillips his film owes its success to a sure Dark Knight.

Todd Phillips on the red carpet
Todd Phillips on the purple carpet | Leon Bennett/WireImage

‘Joker’ has had an unbelievable run

Upon its October 2019 launch, Joker hasn’t solely earned greater than $1 billion on the worldwide field workplace. It’s additionally bested a ton of comedian e book movies on its strategy to that milestone, together with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Given its standing as a viscerally violent R-rated movie, this monetary success is much more spectacular.

Yet, Joker has additionally been driving a wave of essential reward, significantly for Joaquin Phoenix’s efficiency. The movie has been closely tipped as a significant Oscar contender, a marketing campaign solely bolstered additional by its monstrous field workplace. Black Panther not too long ago grew to become the primary comedian e book film nominated for Best Picture. So abruptly Joker doesn’t really feel like such a wild card.

Is ‘Joker’ a success due to Batman?

Of course, the Joker is finest often called Batman’s arch-nemesis. Many comedian books and movies have explored the connection between the Clown Prince of Crime and the Caped Crusader. Yet, Phillips not too long ago informed Deadline he doesn’t assume the Joker’s Bat-history is the explanation the movie has linked with audiences.

I feel it was greater than that. I imply, I feel there are themes within the film that actually resonated with individuals. None of us thought an R-rated film might do over $1 billion the world over. But I feel the themes in it actually resonated. The factor Scott Silver and I got down to do after we wrote the film collectively was to make one thing significant in that comedian e book house, but in addition one thing actually that addressed what was occurring in 2016, after we began writing. It’s fairly apparent what was occurring in our nation in 2017 whereas we have been writing it, and we actually needed to make use of Joker to make a film concerning the lack of compassion and the shortage of decorum on the earth.

Phillips does have a strong level about how the themes of Joker set it aside. But the movie would completely not have been such a success if it wasn’t based mostly on a longtime character. Audiences in every single place know the Joker nearly solely due to Batman. Sure, the tone of Phillips’ movie and Phoenix’s efficiency saved them keen on how this Joker could be completely different. Let’s not rewrite the character’s historical past although.

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Todd Phillips presents a sequel replace

Phillips’ movie doesn’t fully shrink back from the Batman mythos both. After all, Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen) is a key determine within the film’s plot, and its ending straight ties right into a traditional component of the comics. Granted, the unique ending of Joker extra straight rejected the movie’s potential for a seamless story.

Yet, as Phillips freely admitted to Deadline, Joker 2 is now very a lot a risk.

When a film does $1 billion and price $60 million to make, in fact it comes up. But Joaquin and I haven’t actually selected it. We’re open. I imply, I’d like to work with him on something, fairly frankly. So who is aware of? But it must have an actual thematic resonance the way in which this one did, in the end being about childhood trauma and the shortage of affection, and the lack of empathy. All these issues are actually what made this film work for us, so we’d need to have one thing that had an equal thematic resonance.

The director beforehand debunked experiences Joker 2 was formally within the works. But we are able to’t think about a world the place the movie doesn’t give strategy to a sequel. Exactly what angle Phillips, Phoenix, and firm discover for it stays to be seen. However, we’re trying ahead to seeing if Joker 2 will select to embrace its comedian e book roots greater than its predecessor or proceed to function in a world with out Batman.

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