It’s been over a year and Joaquin Phoenix’s JOKER is still making headlines. The one-billion-dollar grossing Oscar winner came up as a brief topic of discussion in a recent interview where David Fincher (MINDHUNTER) was discussing his upcoming MANK series. The director had some interesting words:
“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,” Fincher said. “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” — two characters played by Robert De Niro, who also appears in “Joker” — “and conflate them, then trap him in a betrayal of the mentally ill, and trot it out for a billion dollars.”
I’m not exactly sure how JOKER betrayed the mentally ill. It definitely seemed to be a fair depiction of it. Fincher also went on to discuss one of his greatest films, FIGHT CLUB, which had its own commentary on the mentally ill as well:
“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.”
What do you guys think? Is Fincher correct? I’d love to hear your thoughts below in the comments!