2019 American psychological thriller film Joker received huge accolades. Joaquin Pheonix, who played the titular character in the film, also bagged Oscar Award. However, Gone Girl director David Fincher feels that Hollywood has turned its back on innovative filmmaking.
Celebrated filmmaker David Fincher is well-known for his psychological thriller films and has received thirty nominations at the Academy Awards including two for him as Best Director. He claims that studios are drawing their creative tracks on past successes as streaming services like Netflix push the medium forward.
During an interview with the Telegraph, the filmmaker said, “I think the studios like to say, ‘We’re going to spend $ 250 million on it and $ 4 million on it and leave everything in the middle to someone else. I think they’re happy to get that stuff off their plate. But I also think that the challenging, mid-budget films tend to define where the bigger films will go.”
David Fincher feels that Joaquin Phoenix starrer Joker is an example of a franchise-era studio product that left its creative mark derived from more original work. He said, “Nobody would have thought they’d be a huge hit with Joker if The Dark Knight wasn’t as massive as (2008). I don’t think anyone would have looked at this material and thought, ‘Yeah, let’s take Travis Bickle and Rupert Pupkin and get them together, then catch him betraying the insane and trot it out for a billion dollars. ‘”
It’s worth pointing out that the film Joker is being compared with Travis Bickle and Rupert Pupkin star in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, which are the two classic New Hollywood-era films of the 1970s and 80s. Interestingly, in both films Robert DeNiro had appeared, has also played the role of a talk show host Murray Franklin in Joker.
Fincher also said to the publication, “I’m sure that for a price and with the right cast and with De Niro for the ride, Warner Bros thought it would be a possible double or triple. But I can’t imagine the film would have been released if it had been 1999.”