Director David Fincher is sharing his thoughts on Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker”, using it as an example of studios taking fewer risks on projects.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Fincher said the movie was a “betrayal of the mentally ill.”
“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,” he told the paper.
“I don’t think anyone would have looked at that material and thought, Yeah, let’s take [‘Taxi Driver’ protagonist] Travis Bickle and [‘The King of Comedy’ antihero] Rupert Pupkin and conflate them, then trap him in a betrayal of the mentally ill, and trot it out for a billion dollars,” he continued.
Both Bickle and Pupkin were characters played by Robert De Niro, who also is in “Joker”.
Despite Fincher’s view, “Joker” was the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, boasted 11 Oscar nominations, along with Phoenix winning Best Actor.
Fincher then spoke about his late-’90s movie “Fight Club”.
“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,” Fincher said. “But I cannot imagine that movie would have been released had it been 1999.”
Adding, “the general view afterwards among the studio types was, ‘Our careers are over.’ The fact we got that film made in 1999 is still, to my mind, a miracle.”
“Mank”, Fincher’s first film since “Gone Girl”, will debut on Netflix on Dec. 4.