ISLAMABAD-Before the film won a pair of Oscar statuettes, it created lively debates around mental illness upon its release last year. And now Todd Phillips’s DC origins film Joker, starring Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix, is again the subject of debate, thanks to some loaded comments from Seven auteur David Fincher. Fincher, 58, spoke, in which he likened the film to a ‘trap’ and ‘a betrayal of the mentally ill.’ 

In the interview, Fincher said Joker directly drew on classic characters from Martin Scorsese’s oeuvre and ‘conflated’ them: ‘I don’t think ¬anyone would have looked at that material and thought, “Yeah, let’s take [Taxi Driver’s] Travis Bickle and [The King of Comedy’s] Rupert Pupkin and conflate them, then trap him in a betrayal of the mentally ill, and trot it out for a billion dollars.”’ Fincher also seemed particularly irked by the fact that Joker earned over $1 billion at the box office, as opposed to one of his more notable films that also deals with the theme of mental illness – namely, 1999’s cult hit Fight Club.