Todd Phillips Says Marvel Studios ‘Can’t’ Do A Movie Like ‘Joker’


Warner Bros.

Despite having over a decade of successful comic book filmmaking under their belt, the mammoth that is Marvel Studios has yet to successfully cross one very important bridge: villains.

Not only have the villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe been generally below average throughout the course of the MCU — with the exception characters such as Thanos and Killmonger — but Marvel Studios has yet to dedicate an entire movie to a villain, which seems like something a studio as successful as Marvel would want to tackle.

And yet, despite being over 10 years into their universe building project, they’ve yet to give a bad guy an entire film to shine. And according to Joker director Joaquin Phoenix, that’s exactly what spurred him to make a movie about the Clown Prince of Crime.

Phillips’ logic is pretty simple: if you can’t beat em’, go around em’.

Speaking to The New York Times, Phillips said of Marvel Studios “you can’t beat Marvel – it’s a giant behemoth,” so instead, he just decided to “do something they can’t do.”

Phillips raises an interesting point, as Marvel Studios truly has yet to give their rogues gallery the shine that some might think they might deserve. This may be on purpose from Marvel Studios, of course, because outside of Spider-Man, none of their heroes are necessarily known for their flush rogues gallery.

That said, given that the MCU is constantly expanding, sooner or later, Marvel Studios is going to have to take a turn to the dark side, and personally, I think iconic Fantastic Four villain Doctor Doom would be the perfect place to start.

That said, even if Marvel Studios does ever decide to do a villain-centric film, it will never be an R-rated film akin to Joker.

Joker will hit theaters in the United States on Friday, October 4.


Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him:

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