JOKER: Joaquin Phoenix Walks Out Of Interview After Being Asked If Movie Could Inspire Real-Life Violence

JOKER: Joaquin Phoenix Walks Out Of Interview After Being Asked If Movie Could Inspire Real-Life Violence

JOKER: Joaquin Phoenix Walks Out Of Interview After Being Asked If Movie Could Inspire Real-Life Violence

Some of the backlash aimed at Joker has revolved around the fear that it will inspire similarly damaged people to copy the character's actions. Here's what happened when Joaquin Phoenix was asked about it.

If you've read some of the negative reviews for Joker, you'll be well aware that quite a few critics have expressed concern that the Clown Prince of Crime's actions in the movie could lead to similarly damaged people rallying around the villain and imitating his actions. 

When The Telegraph asked star Joaquin Phoenix if he thought certain scenes or moments "might perversely end up inspiring exactly the kind of people it's about, with potentially tragic results," the actor reacted in shock, queried why the interviewer would ask such a question, and then proceeded to walk out! 

After using Warner Bros.' PR team as a go-between, the actor came back and finished the interview. However, he never really answered that question beyond saying it was something that had never occurred to him (hence why he ended up walking out in the first place). 

It's certainly a worrying prospect that people out there might find themselves inspired to take action in a similar way to The Joker in this DC Comics adaptation, but if someone is that damaged, they don't need a comic book character to inspire them to do wrong! 

What do you guys think? 

To check out a spoilery Q&A with Joker director
Todd Phillips, click on the "View List" button below!

Is The Joker Actually...The Joker?

1

In Joker, Bruce Wayne is a child while Arthur Fleck appears to be late 30s/early 40s. That obviously leaves us wondering how Batman and The Joker could ever really clash without the Caped Crusader essentially just beating up an old man! 

Well, after saying that they never really gave it much thought, Phillips explained that there are many different ways moviegoers can view this story, including the Clown Prince of Crime being an inspiration for a future version of The Joker.

"I mean again, we have people who watch this movie who go, 'Oh, I get it.' And by the way, I’m not saying they’re right, they go, 'Oh, I get it, he’s not the Joker, he’s the inspiration for the Joker. He’s somebody that inspired the Joker.' And you go, 'That’s an interesting way of looking at it.' And they go, 'Why?' Well their age difference, and blah blah blah, and I go, 'That’s interesting.'"
 

An Earlier Cut Of The Movie Was Much Longer

2

Phoenix was asked whether he's seen the film, but Phillips stepped in to answer for him and revealed that there was once a version of the movie that's quite a bit longer than the one in theaters.

"It’s a hard question to answer," the filmmaker mused. "He came over my house and watched the movie. Because there are so many cuts. I mean, the first cut of this movie was 2 hours and 35 minutes. He saw that, then he came back. Right now it's 2 hours and 2 minutes, I think, with credits. so you have to ask him."

That means there will be a lot of deleted scenes on the Blu-ray when it's eventually released (well, hopefully), and could be an indication that we'll get a "Director's Cut" in the near future. 
 

Will A Sequel Ever Happen?

3

Recently, Phillips was quoted as saying that he would be open to helming a Joker sequel providing Warner Bros. and Phoenix are also willing. However, the filmmaker has now clarified those remarks and makes it clear that he and the studio currently "have no plan for a sequel."

"The quote was, 'I will do anything Joaquin wants to do,'" Phillips clarified. "And I would. But the movie's not set up to [have] a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that's it."

If you've read spoilers for the movie, then you'll be well aware that there could be a follow-up if everyone involved wants one, but time will tell whether that is actually going to happen one day.
 

Why The Joker Dances

5

If the trailers have made anything clear, it's that Arthur Fleck clearly loves to dance! It's a unique new character trait for the Clown Prince of Crime but one that has a reason for being there. 

"I think one of the earliest things we spoke about was that Arthur had music in him," Phillips says. "You know, like it just existed in him. Some people that you might know personally have that feeling, and I always thought that about Arthur, but it was sort of kept in and trapped."

"And there was something about that evolving, but like the scene in the bathroom, which I think is what you’re getting to, where he just starts dancing, that’s not in the script, that’s not in the thing, that’s something that kind of evolved and like, oh this is a moment where can sort of show that it’s kind of fighting to get out."
He added that a lot more of these scenes were added during filming.
 

The Realistic Explanation For The Joker's Laugh

4

Joker is grounded in reality and that means the movie finds a realistic explanation for just about everything! That includes the villain's laugh, and Phillips explains that it took a lot of research to come up with an explanation for why Arthur would be afflicted with his unhinged cackle.

"No, we researched it, and I studied, quite frankly, that laugh and people it’s afflicted in different ways. Some people cry from this, and some people laugh. And it’s always at the wrong moment, and it’s really painful. And what we discovered is, it happens from head trauma as a young person or even older. And it happens from MS, which we didn’t necessarily want to give Joker/Arthur MS. So we went with this head trauma thing.

"The movie in every way tries to be grounded in reality as much as possible. It still has a foot in the comic book world, for sure, but we just kept thinking, “Let’s put everything through a realistic lens.” Like, why does he have a white face? Well, we’re going to drop him in acid. While it’s amazing in the comic books, and Jack Nicholson and all that, it didn’t feel very real that that would happen if you fell into a vat of acid. So let’s come up with a realistic answer for everything, and that was one for the laugh. So yeah, we researched it. Does that make sense?"

So, yeah, this version of The Joker was never going to end up falling into a vat of chemicals! 
 

Why The Movie Is Set In The Late 70s/Early 80s

7

We've known for a while that Joker features a "period" setting and Phillips has now revealed that not specifying the exact year it takes place was a deliberate move on his part. "Well, for us, in the movie, we never say it’s 1981, but we say it’s late 70s or early 80s, mainly because we don’t want people to be like 'Wow, that car wasn’t out in 1981.' So late 70s or early 80s, but the time for me, the reason we set it there, was a lot of reasons," the director explains.

"One reason was to separate it, quite frankly, from the DC Universe," he continued, elaborating on his thought process here. "When we pitched it to Warner Brothers and handed the script in to sort of make it clear, this isn’t [frick]ing with anything you have going on. This is like a separate universe. So much so, it takes place in the past before everything else."
 

Todd Phillips' Comic Book Influences

6

Phillips has previously stated he didn't really look to the comics for inspiration and even said that Phoenix would have been happier with the movie being called "Arthur." Well, he's now clarified those comments. "What I said was that we didn't take anything from one particular comic. We kind of picked and chose what we liked from the 80-year canon of Joker and we'd say 'oh, that's interesting This is kind of...' We kind of pulled a few things that we liked."

"Yes, could it have been called Arthur and it just be about a clown? Maybe,"
Phillips admits. "I just thought, there's a new way to tell a comic book movie and it maybe I'm wrong but and let's do it as a character study. I guess a big part of what interested me about it more than making a movie called Arthur was to deconstruct the comic book a movie a little bit."
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in “Joker,” from Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative. A Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

ROBERT DE NIRO as Murray Franklin in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

(L-r) Director/co-writer/producer TODD PHILLIPS and ROBERT DE NIRO on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

(L-r) Director/co-writer/producer TODD PHILLIPS and JOAQUIN PHOENIX on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

(Center) JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s tragedy “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative's "JOKER", a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s tragedy “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

(L-r) Director/co-writer/producer TODD PHILLIPS and JOAQUIN PHOENIX on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

ZAZIE BEETZ as Sophie Dumond in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

(Center) JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

(L-r) ZAZIE BEETZ as Sophie Dumond and JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Joker in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

(L-r) ROBERT DE NIRO as Murray Franklin and JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Joker in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Joker in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

(L-r) JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck and FRANCES CONROY as Penny Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
DISCLAIMER: ComicBookMovie.com is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Latest Headlines
Loading...