Joker Director Todd Phillips Urges Caution Amid Coronavirus Pandemic With Arthur Fleck Meme

Joker director Todd Phillips posted an Arthur Fleck meme to encourage caution among fans of the film while coronavirus is looming large. The Pandemic was officially acknowledged by the World Health Organization this week and many are wondering what to do. Phillips is advocating for social distancing and practicing safe habits. A bunch of people are probably going to seek out the film while they are holed up in their homes this weekend. Luckily, the memes are going to be plentiful over the next few weeks.

“Crazy times. Stay safe everyone…” Phillips wrote. “That said, I’ve been practicing social distancing for years. It works.”

For huge fans of the film, they’re probably wondering how far along Joker’s sequel is right now. But, late last year, the director wasn’t even thinking about that just yet.

“When I first pitched this movie to Warner Bros., I never thought about nominations or grosses,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I was just thinking how we would push this through to achieve a finished product. As for why audiences were drawn to the film, it was a combination of things: obviously Joaquin and his performance, it was so immersive and he really dove into what he was doing. I used to joke with the DP during the shoot that rather than some massive visual effects, Joaquin was that special effect for us. Before we started shooting, I really knew how invested he was in this role and knew we possibly had something very special ahead of us. As for a sequel, it’s way too early [to tell]. I swear I haven’t even talked to Joaquin about that yet or what that would even be.”

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Crazy times. Stay safe everyone... that said, I’ve been practicing social distancing for years. It works.

A post shared by Todd Phillips (@toddphillips1) on

Back last fall, Phillips talked about why this kind of character study appealed to him. He made his bet on Arthur Fleck’s character translating, and a lot of fans were absolutely engulfed in his story as well.

“Movies from these great character studies that they don’t do as much nowadays as they did in the late ‘70s, whether it was Cuckoo’s Nest, or Taxi Driver, or Serpico, or Raging Bull, of course, King of Comedy,” Phillips said at the Venice Film Festival. “Marty was doing a ton back then. And even things like [1928 silent film] The Man Who Laughs — I mean, we were watching a lot of musicals, Scott [Silver] and I, when we were writing it.”


“It’s different tonally than a lot of the films I’ve done before, but ultimately to me, it’s kind of all storytelling, it’s all a beginning, middle and an end,” Phillips said. “But I was definitely influenced by the movies that I grew up on, these great character studies of the ‘70s. And kept thinking, ‘Well, why can’t you do a genre film in the comic book world like that, and really do a deep dive on a character like Joker?’ And if you get a great actor and great people behind it, we could really do something special.”

Are you heeding Phillips’ advice? Let us know in the comments!