Coming off the film's record-breaking success, Warner Bros. has shared some behind-the-scenes insight regarding Joker's production process. And it seems that the film's viewership weren't the only ones nervous about its place in today's social climate.
According to The New York Times, "[Greg] Silverman and Kevin Tsujihara, then the studio’s chairman, were stunned" when director Todd Phillips pitched his idea for a Joker film that mirrored the mindset of real-life mass murderers. Despite there being "division among the ranks" -- including amongst the studio's own senior executives -- Warner Bros. decided it would greenlight Joker; but not without proceeding with caution.
Since there was concern about how a controversial film such as Joker would perform at the box office, Warner Bros. made the gamble to enlist Bron Studios and Village Roadshow to assist in financing the film. This decision ultimately made it quite inexpensive to produce compared to other comic book films, but it meant that the studio would have to split the film's profits amongst its fellow financers.
Since its initial release earlier this month, the Joaquin Phoenix-led film has proven itself to be a success for Warner Bros. As of writing, Joker has surpassed $500 million globally and broken multiple records for an October release in the process.
Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais and Shea Whigham. The film is in theaters now.