Todd Phillips reveals there are comic book influences in Joker. The director says he was originally "misquoted" when talking about possible comic book source material. Comic book fans were taken aback when a quote from Phillips started to spread like wildfire where he said they did not look to the comic source material when crafting the new movie about the Clown Prince of Crime. As it turns out, Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix did a lot of research before setting out to make Joker.
Joker hits theaters in a few weeks and fans are eager to see how Joaquin Phoenix's take on the iconic villain stacks up to the rest of the actors who have played the role. A certain faction of comic book fans have decided to skip the movie based on a quote credited to Todd Phillips. The original quote implied that the movie didn't follow anything from the source material. Phillips has now clarified this quote. He explains.
"It's funny because a lot of you guys have probably reprinted something I said in Empire where I was misquoted. I'm not gonna complain, I like the writer; he wrote a great piece where I said we didn't take anything from the comic book world. It's actually not what I said. What I said was we didn't take anything from one particular comic. We kind of picked and chose what we liked from the kind of 80-year canon of Joker. We kind of pulled a few things that we liked."
While Todd Phillips and crew may have taken bits of the Clown Prince of Crime's backstory from the comics, the director has warned fans that this movie isn't for everybody. While promoting the movie on social media, one comic book fan suggested that Phillips should pick up a book and learn about the character before making Joker. Phillips simply replied, "Yeah. You may want to skip this one."
As for when Joker takes place, Todd Phillips also clarified that mystery. There have been reports that state the movie takes place in 1981, but the director says that's not the case and revealed there is not a specific year. He then made a good argument for not picking a specific time frame. Phillips had this to say about when the story takes place.
"For us, we never say in the movie it's 1981, but we always say, 'It's late seventies early eighties,' mainly because we don't want people to be like 'Wow that car wasn't out in 1979', so late seventies early eighties. But the time for me, the reason we set it there, well there's a lot of reasons. One reason was to separate it quite frankly, from the DC universe. When I pitched to Warner Bros., and handed the script in, to sort of make it clear, this isn't f*cking with anything you have going on. This is like a separate universe. So much so, it takes place in the past, before everything else."
Joker has been praised by critics and is looking forward to a pretty substantial opening box office weekend. While the movie might not be for comic book purists, it's clear that Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips were aiming to do something different, which they said right from the start. For now, we'll just have to wait and see how the movie is accepted by viewers. Phillips' comments on comic book source material were originally reported by Heroic Hollywood.