Even if the most casual of moviegoers aren’t directly familiar with the name of Todd Phillips, I’m sure they at least know him by his work. After all, the guy did direct flicks such as all three installments in The Hangover trilogy, Road Trip, Due Date, Starsky & Hutch and War Dogs. That’s only a fraction of his resume, and I’d say it’s pretty impressive.
You probably noticed that most of those pictures just mentioned fall into the comedy genre, so it’s understandable that Phillips often be identified with that classification. But according to the filmmaker himself, that chapter in his life is now behind him.
Explaining his decision to move on is best left to Phillips himself. Here’s what he had to say about his shifting gears while speaking with Vanity Fair ahead of Joker‘s box office opening:
“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 s***, 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.”
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Hey, the man’s got a point. Being in my mid-thirties myself, I’m often left disappointed in how easily offended people of my age group or younger are these days. And due to that, Twitter has become one of my least favorite places to spend time while online because all people do is complain. Actually, I think “outrage culture” is a more apt description than “woke culture,” but that’s just me.
Strangely enough, it’s this same group of people who’ve taken aim at Joker in recent weeks, saying it’ll inspire real life murderers. Granted, military and law enforcement have picked up credible chatter saying shooters targeting screenings is a very genuine threat, but I don’t think a movie yet to be viewed by the general public can be directly blamed for anything. Criminals alone are responsible for their actions, and we can’t allow for a violent minority to ruin art for the rest of us.
Joker arrives in theaters this Friday, October 4th, so let’s wish everyone a safe experience. A record-breaking opening weekend is expected, so I’d say that’s a positive.
Source: Vanity Fair