Hollywood to invest in those films only that return “billion dollars”

Director David Fincher has criticised Todd Phillips’ superhero spin-off Joker, calling the Joaquin Phoenix starrer a “betrayal of the mentally ill”. Phoenix’s critically-acclaimed and unsettling performance as Arthur Fleck, a mentally-ill man who spirals into madness to become Joker, earned him his maiden best actor Oscar at the 2020 awards ceremony. The film also generated controversy as reviewers claimed it aimed to humanise trigger-happy mass murderers and was exploitative of mental illness. According to Fincher, Phillips’ directorial didn’t have a chance to fly if it was not preceded by the success of The Dark Knight, which saw the late Heath Ledger play Joker in the second part of Christopher Nolan’s darker, realistic ‘Batman’ trilogy. Phoenix’s critically-acclaimed and unsettling performance as Arthur Fleck, a mentally-ill man who spirals into madness to become Joker, earned him his maiden best actor Oscar at the 2020 awards ceremony.

joker spin of The film also generated controversy as reviewers claimed it aimed to humanise trigger-happy mass murderers and was exploitative of mental illness. According to Fincher, Phillips’ directorial didn’t have a chance to fly if it was not preceded by the success of The Dark Knight, which saw the late Heath Ledger play Joker in the second part of Christopher Nolan’s darker, realistic ‘Batman’ trilogy.Joker was made on a budget of about USD 55 million and went on to rake in USD 1.07 billion. Fincher also discussed signing an exclusive deal with Netflix, which is releasing his Mank next month. The director, known for films like Fight Club, The Social Network, and Netflix web series House of Cards and Mindhunter, said Hollywood studios don’t want to invest in films that don’t promise them a return of “billion dollars”.

“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. “What the streamers are doing is providing a platform for the kind of cinema that actually reflects our culture and wrestles 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,” he added.

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