Joker star Joaquin Phoenix and director Todd Phillips recently did an interview with Vanity Fair magazine to promote the upcoming villain origin story. Phillips was asked what made him get out of comedy to pursue such a dark, serious film, where he blamed “woke culture” for ruining comedy.
“Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture,” he says. “There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore—I’ll tell you why, because all the f-----g funny guys are like, ‘F--k this s--t, 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.”
Comedy movies, of course, continue to make hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office every year.
This perceived lack of reverence for irreverence has seemingly driven Phillips out of the comedy game, and into making movies about a failed comic who goes on a murderous rampage. Unfortunately, we won’t be getting any comedy gems like The Hangover Part II or Part III anytime soon.
Joker opens October 4.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!