At The Hollywood Reporter‘s 2019 Directors Roundtable, Phillips spoke more about creating the movie.
By now, Martin Scorcese‘s critique of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is well-documented. The director sparked weeks of discourse in October after saying the franchise’s movies were “not cinema.” Scorsese notoriously compared the films to “amusement parks.”
After months of pushback, Scorsese’s got at least one person in his corner. Warner Bros.’ DC Films just released one of their most successful movies to date with Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. In a roundtable discussion with THR, Joker‘s creator Todd Phillips says he understands where Scorsese was coming from.
“Marty got a lot of heat, but I understand it fully,” Phillips said. “We were struggling to get Joker made. We spent a year at Warner Bros., and I saw emails back and forth, literally, where they said, ‘Does he realize we sell Joker pajamas at Target?’ I go, ‘Didn’t movies come first and pajamas come second? Are the pajamas dictating the movies?’ Theme park rides. Pajamas. Slurpee cups. Whatever it is that you are selling off the back of movies, you can’t make your decisions based on that.”
Phillips expounded on the stages of development during Joker‘s creation, contrasting it with Marvel Studios’ process. Marvel’s Stan Lee provided continuity for the studios’ projects, something that–according to Phillips–Warner Bros. didn’t have.
“The regimes changed so often,” Phillips said. “You get everybody on board and all of a sudden you are starting over. And when you start over, sometimes people don’t like to inherit stuff from other people. But luckily, the head of marketing, Blair Rich, got that it was an anti-comic book movie, so to speak. And in fairness to Warners, it’s a bold swing for a studio to take.
Joker is in theaters now.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter