David Fincher has criticized Todd Phillips’ Oscar-winning superhero spin-off flic Joker for its portrayal of mental illness.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the Mank and Fight Club filmmaker said the movie was “a betrayal of the mentally ill” and also took a wider swipe at the Hollywood studios for only green-lighting films that they think will “make them a billion dollars”.
“Nobody would have thought they had a shot at a giant hit with Joker had The Dark Knight not been as massive as it was. I don’t think anyone would have looked at that material and thought, ‘Yeah, let’s take [Taxi Driver’s] Travis Bickle and [The King of Comedy’s] Rupert Pupkin and conflate them, then trap him in a betrayal of the mentally ill, and trot it out for a billion dollars,” he said.
Last week, Fincher made public that he has four years left on an exclusive deal with Netflix in an interview with French mag Premiere. In the Telegraph interview, the director went into a bit more detail about why he’d signed that pact.
“The reality of our current situation is that the five families don’t want to make anything that can’t make them a billion dollars,” he said. “None of them want to be in the medium-priced challenging content business. And that cleaves off exactly the kind of movies I make. What the streamers are doing is providing a platform for the kind of cinema that actually reflects our culture and wrestles with big ideas: where things are, what people are anxious and unsure about. Those are the kinds of movies that would have been dead on arrival five years ago.”
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