Todd Phillips: I Fully Understand Martin Scorsese’s Criticism at Marvel Movies

Joining ‘The Irishman’ director for The Hollywood Reporter’s directors roundtable chat, the ‘Joker’ director recalls the challenges he faced when trying to get his villain movie picked up by the studio.

AceShowbiz -“Joker” filmmaker Todd Phillips has given Martin Scorsese a pass on what he said about comic book movie blockbusters, insisting he understood what he was trying to say.

The Irishman” director recently took aim at the decade’s big budget movies, claiming they were “not cinema” – a remark that has prompted the likes of Francis Ford Coppola and Terry Gilliam to echo his comments – but Phillips, who was behind the Batman villain origin story earlier this year, accepts his fellow filmmaker was making a fair point.

Joining Scorsese for The Hollywood Reporter’s directors roundtable chat, Todd said, “Marty got a lot of heat for that (what he said), but I understand it fully. We were struggling to get ‘Joker’ made, which sounds funny because it exists in the superhero world, but it’s really not one of those movies.”

“We spent a year at Warner Bros., and I saw emails back and forth, literally, where they said, ‘Does he realise we sell Joker pyjamas at Target?’ I go, ‘Didn’t movies come first and pyjamas come second? Are the pyjamas dictating the movies?’ “

“Theme park rides. Pyjamas. Slurpee cups. Whatever it is that you are selling off the back of movies, you can’t make your decisions based on that.”

Scorsese added, “I remember when Disneyland was built… and one of the aspirations of the studios was to become as important to American culture as Disneyland. And the first studio to really do that was Universal with the (studio) tour. And then you add the blockbuster on top of that – and why not? People go to the movie. Enjoy it. That sort of thing.”

“So the sense of a theme park has always been there. It’s not bad. We used to love to go to amusement parks. But now in an amusement park, you have the film.”

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