So far, Todd Phillips’ Joker has certainly exceeded its expectations. While the critical response has been incredibly polarizing – sparking a national debate in the process – the original origin story has been a mammoth box office success, already topping the opening weekend grosses of Justice League, and even the total earnings of X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Of course, all comic book movies spark some sort of fan interaction online. And no matter how much the cast or crew wants to separate Joker from the rest of the superhero genre, their film is having the same social media presence as the best of the bunch.
One specific Tweet, courtesy of user @Minalopzavina, has become quite popular. In it, she points out that one of the suits Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck wears is nearly identical to the one McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) wears for his night on the town in Superbad.
When you see the two pictures side by side, you might kick yourself for not seeing it sooner.
— 𝔏𝔞 𝔅𝔯𝔞𝔱 / 𝔖𝔠𝔞𝔯𝔶 𝔐𝔦𝔫𝔞 𝔐𝔦𝔫𝔞 👻💋 (@minalopezavina) October 8, 2019
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Conveniently enough, Todd Phillips is no stranger to screwball comedies like Superbad. A great selection of his filmography includes pictures like Road Trip, Due Date and The Hangover trilogy (the star of which, Bradley Cooper, was a producer on this pic).
But recently, Phillips has separated himself from that genre, saying that the landscape is tricky to work within thanks to the current political climate – which he describes as “woke culture.”
“There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore—I’ll tell you why, because all the f*cking funny guys are like, ‘F*ck this sh*t, because I don’t want to offend you,'” Phillips ranted. “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*ck 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.”
Woke culture or not, his latest has made over $258 million worldwide through Monday. Unfortunately, what Judd Apatow and company are probably realizing is that the vest wasn’t the defining factor in Joker‘s success – given that Superbad only made $169 million internationally at the end of its box office run.