Baftas 2020: Joker dominates with 11 nominations
(Credit: Warner Bros)

David Fincher calls Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’ film “a betrayal of the mentally ill”

Director David Fincher has hit out at Todd Phillips’ Joker, which he has poured scorn on by slamming as “a betrayal of the mentally ill”.

Fincher made the bold statement as he promotes his new film Mank, an effort which is set to arrive on Netflix next month. The film sees Gary Oldman star as Citizen Kane writer Herman J. Mankiewicz alongside Amanda Seyfried and Charles Dance. “1930s Hollywood is reevaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz,” the film’s synopsis reads, adding: “as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane.”

When speaking about his upcoming picture as well as the state of cinema with The Telegraph, Fincher couldn’t resist giving his thoughts on Joker. “I don’t think ­anyone would have looked at that material and thought,” he said to the publication, “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,” the director said.

Fincher then somewhat cynically added that he believes film studios “don’t want to make anything that can’t make them a billion dollars”.

In the same interview, he then hinted about an upcoming unannounced project linked to cancel culture, “It’s about how modern society measures an apology,” he stated. “If you give a truly heartfelt apology and no one believes it, did you even apologise at all? It’s a troubling idea but we live in troubling times.”

He also recently said in an interview that season three of Mindhunter is unlikely to happen due to production costs. Asked if he felt like the show was done, Fincher said: “I think probably,” according to Best of Netflix.

“Listen, for the viewership that it had, it was an expensive show. We talked about ‘Finish Mank and then see how you feel,’ but I honestly don’t think we’re going to be able to do it for less than I did season two. And on some level, you have to be realistic about dollars have to equal eyeballs,” the director then added.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Delivering curated content