If you thought Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy was way too comicbook-y and instead wanted a reminder of how dark and broken the real world is, while following a mentally-ill guy that is disappointed by everyone and everything, then you probably already have seen Todd Phillips’ “Joker” and loved it enough to make it an unprecedented box office success.

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In this exclusive featurette, director Todd Phillips talks about how he convinced a studio to bank his idea of making a gritty character study (that was heavily inspired by the work of Martin Scorsese) by turning it into a comic-book movie. Whatever you think of the movie, you must admit that this is maybe the year’s biggest scheme by a director working for a major Hollywood studio. At a time when everyone is talking about how hard it is to make a character study because of superheroes dominating the market, turning your character study into a Joker origin story makes perfect sense.

Phillips then discusses how they wanted the story of Joaquin Phoenix‘s Arthur Fleck to be the story of a guy who has been wearing a mask his entire life, and what happens when he finally takes the mask off and becomes his dark and violent self (it sounds an awful lot like Batman).

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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 fractured society. 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.

“Joker” is now out on VOD. Watch the exclusive featurette below.