“Joker” has been one of the most divisive movies of the year to date. Whether you love it or hate it, we can all respect the commitment that star Joaquin Phoenix and director Todd Phillips put into the film. Part of that commitment came in the editing bay, when Phillips had to carefully consider what scenes were worth keeping, and which could be left on the cutting room floor.
In an interview with Collider, Phillips explained his editing philosophy. “I don’t do deleted scenes,” the director said. Phillips explained that he doesn’t include deleted scenes or extended cuts in DVDs because “the movie that exists is exactly the movie we want it to be — I feel like all that adding deleted scenes do is confuse it.”
Editing also sheds new light on scenes that had a totally different feel during shooting, at least according to Phillips. One scene, in particular, played in a whole new way in editing, and it was a scene that Joaquin Phoenix loved. “There was a scene that, that during the shoot we thought was one of the best scenes and we loved his behavior in the scene, and I’d always really liked the scene,” Phoenix said. “But it actually doesn’t work.”
Phillips added that the scene “was basically a scene between him and Randall [played by Glenn Fleshler] — Randall’s the guy he kills with the scissors — and it was a scene with them on the stairwell leading up to the Ha-Ha’s offices.” Apparently, it’s a continuation of the scene where Arthur paints over the Ha-Ha’s sign, and Phillips said it was the last scene cut out of the movie.
Phoenix further expanded on why that cut was such an essential part of making movies. “That’s just what’s so cool about movies, right?,” Phoenix said. “You can have a great scene, it’s something that makes sense, but the movie is the collection of all of these scenes and they have to work together to tell the story.”
“Joker” has been wildly successful at the box office. To date, the movie has made more than $700 million worldwide, and broken several box office records along the way.
Did you see “Joker”? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.