Don’t expect a Joker extended or “director’s cut” to be released. Director Todd Phillips is against the idea. Martin Scorsese, who gave Phillips some help behind-the-scenes on the movie, recently talked about his disdain for the idea of the director’s cut, noting that the version in theaters is often the actual version the director wanted you to see, unless there was some studio tampering. Phillips Is in the very same mindset. He explains.
“I hate f**king extended cuts. I hate deleted scenes… 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.”
That seems to sum it up pretty succinctly. Todd Phillips isn’t into deleted scenes and extended cuts, though the original cut of Joker tacked on an extra 30 minutes. What is playing in theaters now is the movie Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix wanted to make. With that being said, there are a few outtakes that the director wants fans to see. He had this to say about one particular scene’s outtakes.
“While I don’t like deleted scenes, we did cut this fun thing together… of (Joker) 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. 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?'”
Joaquin Phoenix was disappointed to see that Todd Phillips had cut one Joker scene that they were all really fond of. In terms of shaping a movie and its narrative, sometimes less is more, just like any other form of art. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Phoenix explains.
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“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. And Todd told me and said, ‘We’re cutting that scene out.’ And at first I thought, like, ‘Wait a minute, what do you mean you cut that scene out?’ And then of course I saw it, and it was very obvious. It has to go.”
Joaquin Phoenix continued to talk about taking the scene out of Joker and taking things out of movies in general. “That’s just what’s so cool about movies, right? You can have a great scene, it’s something that makes sense,” says Phoenix. “But the movie is the collection of all of these scenes and they have to work together to tell the story.” Phoenix reveals that removing the scene in question, “actually made that whole sequence so smooth.” A lot of time and effort went on behind-the-scenes to ensure the story moved along while keeping audiences on the edge of their seats.
Todd Phillips says cutting the aforementioned scene was “a heartbreaker,” and admitted it “might’ve been the last scene I cut out.” Phillips later seemed to have a change of heart about his stance on deleted scenes. “Maybe I’ll release that one,” said the director, only to conclude with, “I’m teasing.” Okay, so not even this glorious Joker scene that Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix just gushed about will be made available, we get it. The interview with Phillips and Phoenix was originally conducted by Collider.