Joker fans are saying director Todd Phillips was “robbed” after the Golden Globes awarded Best Director to Sam Mendes for acclaimed World War I-set drama 1917, Mendes’ first Golden Globe win since American Beauty in 2000. The R-rated character study unfurling the origin story of the infamous Batman villain, portrayed in Joker by Joaquin Phoenix in a Golden Globe-winning performance, earned Phillips his first Golden Globe nomination. Mendes was awarded the Globe over Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood) and Bong Joon Ho (Parasite).
“I just was thinking about, really, quite frankly, the state of the movie business, and how movies that do cut through the noise. We all make movies and they’re far too difficult and expensive to be a hobby,” Phillips previously told Deadline’s Behind the Lens of the inspiration behind Joker. “The reason you do them is to get people to see them, and it’s hard to deny that comic book movies have kind of taken over, as far as the theatrical experience has gone. So I just thought, maybe there’s a way to use that, and do something a little bit different.”
I couldn't agree more !! Todd Phillips was robbed !!— Vicki eden (@edenkinser) January 6, 2020
Borrowing inspiration from Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, as well as Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sidney Lumet’s Serpico, Phillips pitched Joker as a deep examination of a famed DC Comics villain separate from studio Warner Bros.’ mainstream DC Films universe.
“I had grown up loving these sort of intense character studies of the ‘70s and early ‘80s, and I thought, ‘God, you could probably get one of those made nowadays if you did it about one of these characters,’ and it was that basic of an idea,” he said. “I’d always been attracted to Joker because he’s an agent of chaos, which I’ve always liked, so I thought that could be an interesting approach to do a deep-dive character study on a villain. That was the genesis of the idea.”
Despite his film’s “unsettling tone” and Phillips’ intention to make a movie with a “narrow focus,” Joker was awarded top prize at the Venice Film Festival late last year before going on to gross more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
“It’s not a movie for everybody, and that was one of the things I said to [Warner Bros.] in the beginning. Comic book films are generally PG-13, kind of aiming at four quadrant, so to speak, but we were very specific in that this is not necessarily a movie for everybody,” Phillips said. “If it ends up attracting everybody, great, if it crosses over, and people discover it the way they seem to have with Joker now, but we made it in mind, very specifically, narrow focus, if that makes sense.”
#notmywinner Todd phillips deserve it— Bennie (@Bennie94633221) January 6, 2020
I was screaming Todd Phillips at the tv 🙄— Nicholas Simpson (@nick_in_the_box) January 6, 2020
Todd Phillips— Diana Gonzalez (@DianaKarenGonz5) January 6, 2020
Should have been either Todd Phillips or Boong joon!! Wtf 🤬🤬#GoldenGlobes— Lolena124 (@Lolena124Hot) January 6, 2020
Todd Phillips got robbed...— CeeJaay (@lightwalker777) January 6, 2020
Can't wait to see "1917" but I thought Todd Phillips would win for directing Joker.— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) January 6, 2020
Ok so Todd Phillips didn’t win best director for @jokermovie but in my heart he def won! I cannot express how much this movie meant to the world!! 🤡🤡🤡— Pongolito (@SuzyQPongo) January 6, 2020
Should’ve been Todd Phillips.— Matthew T. Lowe (@dcstrutter) January 6, 2020
The fact the Mendez beat out the two most iconic directors and an exceptional Todd Phillips for joker, makes me really want to watch 1917 even more.— Sal taco Paniagua (@tac_Oman) January 6, 2020
Joker is available to own on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray starting Jan. 7.