'Joker' director says he stopped making comedies like 'The Hangover' because of 'this woke culture'
- "Joker" director Todd Phillips told Vanity Fair that comedies don't work anymore because of "this woke culture."
- "All the f---ing funny guys are like, 'F--- this shit, because I don't want to offend you,'" Phillips said. "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.'"
- He added that making "Joker" allowed him to still make an "irreverent" movie without making a comedy.
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"Joker" director Todd Phillips is not a fan of what he calls "woke culture."
Phillips was known for edgy comedies like "The Hangover" trilogy before coming on board Warner Bros.' "Joker," which comes to theaters this Friday. Phillips told Vanity Fair, as part of a recent profile of the movie's star Joaquin Phoenix, that he wanted to make "Joker" as a way to direct an "irreverent" movie without offending "30 million people on Twitter" with another comedy.Phillips' full quote is below:
"Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture. There were articles written about why comedies don't work anymore - I'll tell you why, because all the f---ing funny guys are like, 'F--- 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 f--- 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" has still been attracting plenty of controversy ahead of its release, though.
Family members of some of the victims of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado movie-theater mass shooting sent a letter to Warner Bros. last week voicing concerns about the movie's graphic violence and urging the studio to use its "political clout and leverage in Congress to actively lobby for gun reform." A gunman attacked the audience at a midnight screening of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 people and injuring 70 more in July 2012.
The theater where the shooting took place, Century Aurora and XD, is not playing "Joker," The Hollywood Reporter first reported.
The Los Angeles Police Department said last week that it "will maintain high visibility around movie theaters" when "Joker" opens due to the public concerns.Warner Bros. disinvited press to the Hollywood premiere of the movie on Saturday. Warner Bros. said in a statement to Variety "a lot has been said about 'Joker,' and we just feel it's time for people to see the film."
"It's a difficult film," Phoenix told Vanity Fair. "In some ways, it's good that people are having a strong reaction to it.
"Joker" is expected to be a box-office success this weekend and is projected to break the October domestic opening-weekend record set by "Venom" last year.