Joker Director Discusses the Film's '70s Influences

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Director Todd Phillips' upcoming Joker movie seems to be a surefire hit for DC and Warner Bros, with critics everywhere giving it a lot of love. This movie won't be like any other DC movie out right now, with most comparing it to The Dark Knight in terms of quality. However, even The Dark Knight is clearly a superhero movie that just happened to change the world, while Joker is less of a typical comic book film and more like a gangster flick.

Speaking with the crowd during the movie's premiere in Venice Film Festival (via, Phillips revealed that Joker is inspired by a number of films from the ‘70s. He revealed that dark character-driven movies like Taxi Driver and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest were very big inspirations, though nothing was directly lifted from those films.

"There's a ton of specific inspirations we had for this movie. Taxi Driver, obviously, is one of my favorite movies, but it's not directly that. I think it's more a time period of movies. 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. Marty was doing a ton back then. And even things like The Man Who Laughs [from 1928]. I mean, we were watching a lot of musicals, [co-writer] Scott [Silver] and I, when we were writing [Joker]."

Considering all of the hype, it's going to be interesting to see how Joker plays out when it eventually gets released to the public. Some would argue that it looks like your typical "Oscar-bait" movie but that doesn't mean it will be done poorly. Joaquin Phoenix looks like he might be in contention for another Oscar but let's wait for the premiere.

Joker will be released on October 4.

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