Director Todd Phillips says 'woke culture' drove him away from comedy genre, leading him to make Joker

Todd Phillips, best known for his comedy films Road Trip and The Hangover Trilogy, says that he the comedies don't work anymore because makers are afraid of offending people

FP Staff October 02, 2019 16:11:57 IST
Director Todd Phillips says 'woke culture' drove him away from comedy genre, leading him to make Joker

Joker director Todd Phillips says that it's "woke culture" that has made him steer clear of comedy. The director, best known for his comedy films Road Trip (2000), Old School (2003), Starsky & Hutch (2004), The Hangover Trilogy and Due Date (2010), says that he's scared of venturing into the comedy genre now in fear offending people.

He says that the fear of arguing with 30 million people on Twitter drove him away from the genre. The idea for Joker, he says, came from a desire to be irreverent.

Director Todd Phillips says woke culture drove him away from comedy genre leading him to make Joker

Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix on the sets of Joker. Image from Twitter

"There are pieces 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. 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," he says in an interview with Vanity Fair.

Ever since Joker premiered at the Venice Film Festival last month, the film has drawn polarised responses from critics. The showcasing of violence has been perceived by many as problematic in the current socio-political context.

Phillips, in an interview with The Wrap, rejected the criticism that the film, starring Joaquin Phoenix as a loner who turns on society, promotes violence.

"We didn't make the movie to push buttons. 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," Phillips said, according to a Press Trust 0f India report.

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