Director Todd Phillips’ Joker has received criticism for creating the film with a sympathetic origin story. At a time when gun violence continues to remain a big issue in United States, some critics have raised the question.
But to the confusion caused by the questions of gun violence and mental illness, Todd Phillips, an Oscar nominee for Best Director told The Wrap, “I’m surprised… Isn’t it good to have these discussions? Isn’t it good to have these discussions about these movies, about violence? Why is that a bad thing if the movie does lead to a discourse about it?”
He further noted, “We didn’t make the movie to push buttons.”
Phillips went on to speak about the filmmaking process. “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.”
Speaking about Hollywood at large, he noted, “I think it’s because outrage is a commodity, I think it’s something that has been a commodity for a while. What’s outstanding to me in this discourse in this movie is how easily the far left can sound like the far right when it suits their agenda. It’s really been eye opening for me.”
Joker has picked up 11 Oscar nominations with Joaquin Phoenix a favourite to win in the category of best actor.