The leftist IO9/Gizmodo quoted an Empire interview from Todd Phillips, the director of the upcoming Joker movie, and it doesn’t sound like he wants to produce a crowd-pleaser:
We didn’t follow anything from the comic-books, which people are gonna be mad about. We just wrote our own version of where a guy like Joker might come from. That’s what was interesting to me. We’re not even doing Joker, but the story of becoming Joker. It’s about this man.
While there might be some parallels comics diehards can find in the film’s backstory—the idea of the Joker as a failed comedian is something that draws from the aforementioned Killing Joke, for example—it’s almost refreshing that this is being pitched as something beyond taking the source material and putting it on the big screen intact. Given the myriad attempts to dive into the psyche and origins of the Joker in the comics, such an attempt in a single movie would be futile, but it’s also—to varying degrees of success—something DC has been doing with its cinematic wing anyway.
It honestly sounds like it’ll be even worse than the failed 2004 Catwoman movie, and IO9 isn’t making things any better by suggesting this new direction they’re taking is a good one. To say the audience will be angry is not how you advertise and promote a film. The filmmakers should say they hope audiences can appreciate the liberties taken with the source materials, and ultimately let the finished product speak for itself. Not that I find a movie centered foremost on a villain – especially one as lethal as the Clown Prince of Crime – appealing, though. As I’ve noted a few times before, there’s been too much emphasis on villains in some films and TV programs, and not enough true focus on the heroes. Or, if they do, they turn the heroes into unlikable Mary Sues like the Captain Marvel movie did.
In the end, a movie spotlighting a villain is hardly what I’d be looking forward to, but then, it’s gotten to the point where I’m not looking forward to many of the comic-based movies, mostly because I concluded the higher echelons cared more about the film adaptations than they ever did about the comics. Buying tickets to see what doesn’t seem to have much re-watch value won’t convince the echelons we disapprove of their misuse of the source materials.
Originally published here.