While speaking with The Telegraph about his new Netflix film Mank, director David Fincher ruminated about Warner Bros. Pictures’ Joker and how unlikely it was that, because of its subject matter, the film became a huge hit.
“Nobody would have thought they had a shot at a giant hit with Joker had The Dark Knight not been as massive as it was,” Fincher said.
“I don’t think anyone would have looked at that material and thought ‘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,” he continued.
While speaking about Joker, Fincher couldn’t help but be reminded of his own film, Fight Club, which explored the mentally ill…and was not a hit (though it grew in cult popularity over the years).
“The general view afterwards among the studio types was ‘Our careers are over’,” Fincher said. “The fact we got that film made in 1999 is still, to my mind, a miracle.”
Fincher also noted that the confidence in Fight Club to perform well was super-low, especially when compared to the early confidence Warner Bros. had in Joker.
In related David Fincher news, you can read IGN’s review of Mank, as well as the news of his Netflix series, Mindhunter, probably being dead, and how the director surprised film students with a remote Masterclass.