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David Fincher Describes Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker’ As A Betrayal Of The Mentally Ill

Two-time Academy Award nominee, director David Fincher slammed Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker’ during an interview with The Telegraph to promote his upcoming Hollywood throwback movie ‘Mank.’

In the interview, Fincher, best known for his psychological thrillers, claimed that ‘Joker,’ directed and produced by Todd Phillips, stands on the shoulders of his ‘The Dark Knight.’ According to him, nobody would have thought ‘Joker’ made a giant wave if not ‘The Dark Knight’ garnered huge success.

As known, Heath Ledger’s portrayal of ‘Joker’ in the 2008 dated film, praised by numerous viewers and critics, so much so that, it ranked no.3 on Empire’s list of “100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.”

Then Fincher argued that Joaquin Phoenix’s interpretation of the character is a mix of two Martin Scorsese classics – ‘Taxi Driver’s ‘Travis Bickle‘ and ‘The King of Comedy’s ‘Rupert Pupkin‘ – and added:

“I don’t think anyone would have looked at that material and thought, ‘Yeah, let’s take Travis Bickle and Rupert Pupkin and conflate them, then trap him in a betrayal of the mentally ill, and trot it out for a billion dollars.’”

Regarding the movie, which became the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time and garnered 11 Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Director and Best Actor, Fincher continued:

“I’m sure that Warner Bros thought at a certain price, and with the right cast, and with De Niro coming along for the ride, it would be a possible double or triple. But I cannot imagine that movie would have been released had it been 1999.”

As known, Phillips’ film, focuses on an alternative origin story for ‘Joker,’ was released on August 31, 2019. For his performance, Phoenix won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award in 2020.

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