When it was announced that Todd Phillips was the man who would co-write and direct “Joker,” people were shocked. Not because Phillips is tackling a comic book film, or even because he’s some sort of terrible filmmaker (he clearly isn’t), but instead because he’s best known for his raunchy comedies, such as “The Hangover.” But according to the director, there’s a very good reason he ditched comedies for the hard-hitting, dramatic “Joker” — woke culture.
Outside of “The Hangover” franchise, the director is also known as the helmer behind comedy films such as “Old School,” “Road Trip,” and “Starsky and Hutch.” Not necessarily the CV that would lend itself to making an R-rated, hard-boiled crime film such as “Joker.” Speaking to Vanity Fair, Phillips explained why it’s unlikely that he’ll go back to making his comedies anytime soon.
“Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture,” Phillips said. “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.’”
He continued, “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 fuck 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.”
“Joker” isn’t the director’s first foray into the post-raunch world. Despite its obvious humor, one could argue that his previous film “War Dogs” is the bridge between the Todd Phillips that brought audiences ‘Hangover’ and the man behind the new comic book film that is expected to get some serious Oscar discussion.
So, despite his filmography filled with broad comedies, it would appear that the filmmaker is entering a new phase in his career, and if you don’t like it, then you should blame society. Or so Phillips says.
“Joker” is hitting theaters on October 4.