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Concern that the upcoming Joker film may incite violence has overshadowed its inching debut.
Joker follows Arthur Fleck’s descent from failed comedian to Batman villain, reportedly painting him as a victim of society’s disregard. The film’s creators insist the narrative won’t condone Fleck’s turn to violence over not being as appreciated as he feels he deserves, warnings are still being shared within communities, and even from the U.S. military, which says it has been made aware of threats from “incels” who may follow in the footsteps of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooter.
But director Todd Phillips has been dismissive of both criticism and concern. While his comments slamming the “far-left” for worrying about Joker inciting violence have already made the rounds, his latest comments, dragging the beloved Keanu Reeves John Wick franchise into the fray are straight-up pissing John Wick fans off.
Writer-director Todd Phillips says it isn't fair to link his #JokerMovie to real-world violence: "It's a fictional character in a fictional world that's been around for 80 years." pic.twitter.com/NcT4d9fjOQ— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) September 24, 2019
“[Joker] still takes place in a fictional world. It can have real-world implications [and] opinions but it’s a fictional character in a fictional world that’s been around for 80 years,” Phillips told AP Entertainment.
“The one that bugs me more [about the] toxic white male thing is when you go ‘Oh oh, I just saw John Wick 3. He’s a white male and he kills 300 people,’ and everybody’s laughing and hooting and hollering. Why does this movie get held to different standards? It honestly doesn’t make sense to me,” Phillips said.
John Wick fans and general people with common sense alike were quick to jump on the comments, noting all the many, many, many reasons why there is no correlation between John Wick and Joker.
“John Wick is about a guy who kills mobsters because they murdered his dog,” one user pointed out. “Joker is about a guy who kills civilians because women wouldn’t sleep with him.”
John Wick is about a guy who kills mobsters because they murdered his dog.— Jeff Lyons (@JifMOD) September 26, 2019
Joker is about a guy who kills civilians because women wouldn't sleep with him.
Kind of different context, and only one resembles actual terrorists that have carried out real attacks.
Others pointed out how Wick doesn’t want to kill nor does he kill civilians randomly.
“No one has dressed as John Wick and killed a movie theater full of people. The Joker is a symbol for chaos and destruction. There’s a scary part of this population that wants to emulate that. I’ll go see the movie, but I can separate art from life and I won’t twist the message,” Twitter user @comicsdisciple wrote.
A) John Wick doesn’t want to kill— archie ⍟ (@keanufkinreeves) September 26, 2019
B) Not a single civilian dies in John Wick
C) John Wick kills people with precision and is a respected assassin whereas the Joker is running about causing chaos
D)Keanu Reeves isn’t white https://t.co/tEbzzHbMBr
John Wick is killing assassins where as the Joker is killing people at random.— Chris Willis (@chris_willis_uk) September 25, 2019
It’s not the same.
John Wick is the slick, visually cool story of a moral antihero who'd left crime & violence behind to become a better, happier person; The Joker is a straight-up villain with no redeeming qualities who revels in inflicting himself upon the world just to validate his own mania.— comicsdisciple (@comicsdisciple) September 26, 2019
No one has dressed as John Wick and killed a movie theater full of people. The Joker is a symbol for chaos and destruction. There's a scary part of this population that wants to emulate that. I'll go see the movie, but I can separate art from life and I won't twist the message.— Jandro (@adgazard) September 26, 2019
Also, John Wick goes after the guy who killed his dog and stole his car, both have sentimental value to him. He doesn't kill 300 dudes at random, they actively try and stop him from getting to the guy who stole his car and killed his dog by attempting to murder him.— Jeroen (@jertim) September 26, 2019
Other folks just couldn’t get past the faulty comparison to find the words to explain why it doesn’t hold up. “why is todd phillips comparing the Joker to John Wick????? bitch it doesn’t make sense,” one Twitter user wrote.
john wick talking to the joker pic.twitter.com/OCeo6sZLiF— brad pitts submissive (@dyingsince97) September 26, 2019
why is todd phillips comparing the joker to john wick????? bitch it doesn't make sense pic.twitter.com/7eXHKzBJuT— jenn ✴ (@616WAVES) September 26, 2019
Thrillist writer Emma Stefansky, who has already seen Joker, had another reason why the two films are uncomparable.
“The difference between Joker and John Wick is that Joker is a bad movie and John Wick is a good movie,” Stefansky tweeted.
the difference between joker and john wick is that joker is a bad movie and john wick is a good movie— Emma Stefansky (@stefabsky) September 26, 2019
Rachel Kiley is a writer who sometimes writes things and sometimes is based in L.A., but is definitely always on Twitter @rachelkiley.