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‘Joker’ was a betrayal of the mentally ill: David Fincher

Fight Club filmmaker David Fincher appears to not be a big fan of the Oscar-winning 2019 mega-hit Joker. 

Talking to The Daily Telegraph, Fincher, known for directing mind-bending films like Gone Girl, Seven, and Zodiac, called the Todd Phillips directorial 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 said.


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Fincher also called out big Hollywood studios for only pandering to content that can make them a billion dollars. “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 and conflate them, then trap him in a betrayal of the mentally ill, and trot it out for a billion dollars,” he quipped.

The The Social Network director also opened up about his exclusive four-year deal with Netflix, sharing why he chose to sign the pact with the streaming giant.

“The reality of our current situation is that the five families don’t want to make anything that can’t make them a billion dollars. None of them want to be in the medium-priced challenging content business. And that cleaves off exactly the kind of movies I make,” he said.

Fincher believes streamers provide a platform for the kind of cinema that reflects real culture. He said they “wrestle with big ideas: where things are, what people are anxious and unsure about. Those are the kinds of movies that would have been dead on arrival five years ago.”


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Joker, that garnered actor Joaquin Phoenix a Best Actor Oscar, was one of the biggest film of 2019. It raked in roughly $1.074 billion  at the box office, making it the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.



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