Todd Phillips shut down a Joker critic over the weekend on social media. The director released a new picture of Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime as he nears completion on the movie. From the start Phillips and Phoenix have been upfront about the project and how it will differ from anything else we've seen in terms of the villain and the comic book movie genre in general. With that being said, the movie is still shrouded in mystery and at least one fan is not happy about the direction it's going.
Social media allows artists and fans to communicate like never before. Sometimes this works out in a positive way and other times it doesn't work out at all. Todd Phillips' recent social media post raised a lot of questions about the Joker movie, which he took time to answer, going as far as to confirm the movie will have an R-rating. One disgruntled fan threw shade at Todd Phillips and told him he should pick up a comic book to learn about the true origins of the Joker's white skin and went on more about the villain's jobs over the years. Phillips simply said, "Yeah. You may want to skip this one."
Taking a character as iconic as the Clown Prince of Crime and doing something new with him on the big screen is inevitably going to cause an uproar amongst comic book fans. Joker does not look like a traditional comic book movie at all and there are going to be some major changes to fit the narrative Todd Phillips is trying to get across. When Joaquin Phoenix was finally confirmed to be in the movie, he noted that it was going to be a character study.
Jared Leto played the Joker, albeit briefly, in 2016's Suicide Squad and was harassed endlessly for changing the look of the character. The villain was very much the way he has always been, but Leto was torched for making some stylistic changes, some of which were warranted and others were baseless. With Joaquin Phoenix putting on the makeup instead of falling into a vat of acid, there are going to be some fans who just aren't into what Todd Phillips and Phoenix are doing, which is fine.
It's going to be very interesting to see how Joker is received when it hits theaters this fall. It could very well end up alienating both comic book fans who don't want to see a new version of the character and Joaquin Phoenix fans who don't want to see the actor in a superhero movie. Regardless, the response to the first trailer was met with excitement and there are certainly a lot of people who are looking forward to what Phoenix and Todd Phillips have pulled off. You can see a screenshot of the conversation between Phillips and fan over at Reddit