Comic book movies often arrive on home video with deleted scenes and extended sequences, but don’t expect “Joker” to follow that tradition if director Todd Phillips has his way. In an interview with Collider, Phillips rejected the idea of a “Joker” director’s cut when asked about the possibility of fans seeing additional footage from the movie that was cut out of the 122-minute theatrical cut.
“I hate fucking extended cuts. I hate deleted scenes,” Phillips said. “They’re deleted for a reason. The movie that exists is exactly the movie I want it to be and I will never show a deleted scene.”
Just because Phillips won’t show a deleted scene doesn’t mean they don’t exist in abundance. The filmmaker told Collider the moment in which Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker comes out behind the curtain to appear on Murray Franklin’s late night talk show was filmed over a dozen times with Phoenix performing different introduction bits for each take.
“While I don’t like deleted scenes, we did cut this fun thing together of all the times of [Joaquin] walking out on Murray Franklin because every time the guy would go, Murray would stand and go, ‘Please welcome Joker,’ and the curtains would open and he comes out and does something different every time,” Phillips said. “You know the thing in the movie, he spins, he kisses the woman. But we cut this thing together of ‘Please welcome Joker,’ and I don’t know, we did it 13 times maybe, and they’re all different and they’re so funny and there’s so many good ones. I was like, ‘Oh, I wonder why I didn’t use that one?’”
Phillips’ opinion on extended editions of movies is also held by Martin Scorsese, who was quoted earlier this week rejecting the notion of the director’s cut. “The director’s cut is the film that’s released — unless it’s been taken away from the director by the financiers and the studio,” Scorsese told Entertainment Weekly. “[The director] has made their decisions based on the process they were going through at the time. There could be money issues, there could be somebody that dies [while making] the picture, the studio changes heads and the next person hates it…All these things happen. But I do think once the die is cast, you have to go with it and say, ‘That’s the movie I made under those circumstances.’”
“Joker” is playing in theaters nationwide and, at least according to Phillips, it will be the only version of the film fans get to see. Of course Warner Bros. might have other ideas for the movie’s home video release.