'Joker' Director Todd Phillips Discusses The Movie's Violence Controversy

Todd Phillips Joker

Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips pose with the Golden Lion for Best Film Award for ‘Joker’ at the Photocall during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 07, 2019 in Venice, Italy. - Image (Denis Makarenko /

Director Todd Phillips addressed the violence controversy surrounding the “Joker” movie. He explained that they “didn’t make the movie to push buttons.”

Phillips knows the film is an easy target in today’s political climate, “what’s outstanding to me in this discourse in this movie is how easily the far left can sound like the far right when it suits their agenda. It’s really been eye-opening for me.”

“I literally described to Joaquin at one point in those three months as like, ‘Look at this as a way to sneak a real movie in the studio system under the guise of a comic book film’. It wasn’t, ‘We want to glorify this behavior.’ It was literally like ‘Let’s make a real movie with a real budget and we’ll call it f*cking Joker’. That’s what it was.”

Joaquin Phoenix Joaquin Phoenix attends "The Burnt Orange Heresy" photocall during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 07, 2019 in Venice, Italy. - Image (Denis Makarenko /

The director expresses his confusion, “I’m surprised… Isn’t it good to have these discussions? Isn’t it good to have these discussions about these movies, about violence? Why is that a bad thing if the movie does lead to discourse about it?”

This news comes after Joaquin Phoenix walked out of an interview after being questioned about the violence in the movie.

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