“Joker” director Todd Phillips has once again stirred debate with comments during his press interviews for the film opening this Friday.
Prior to working on “Joker,” Phillips was primarily known for directing comedies – some of them good (“Road Trip,” “Old School,” “The Hangover”) some of them bad (“The Hangover” sequels, “School for Scoundrels,” “Due Date”).
As part of a profile piece on Joaquin Phoenix in Vanity Fair, Phillips revealed that he began to find it hard to make comedies anymore, saying the difficulty of getting them made is due to “woke culture”:
“Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture. There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore – I’ll tell you why, because all the f–king funny guys are like, ‘F–k this shit, because I don’t want to offend you.’ It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’ I’m out, and you know what? With all my comedies -I think that what comedies in general all have in common – is they’re irreverent. 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 initially received very positive reviews at its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, but subsequent Toronto reviews and other media reviews since then have painted more of a mixed picture and some interestingly divisive reactions.
Whatever the case, “Joker” remains on track to be a big success at the box office when it opens this Friday.