Why Did Todd Phillips Stop Making Comedies?

It’s not unusual for people in the entertainment industry to spend most of their careers focused on one genre. However, there are also plenty of people who like to switch things up. Among them is award-winning director, Todd Phillips. During the early 2000s, Phillips was best known for directing comedy films such as The Hangover franchise and Road Trip. However, by the time the mid and late 2010s rolled around, Todd has shifted to a completely different space. He gained widespread notoriety in 2019 with the release of the hit movie Joker which starred Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. Since the movie was much different than what viewers had seen Todd do in the past, many people were surprised. However, as you might be able to guess, there’s always a method to the madness. Keep reading to find out why Todd Phillips stopped making comedies.

Todd Phillips’ Reason for Ditching Comedy Isn’t What You Might Think

It’s easy to assume that Todd Phillips’ choice to focus on a new genre was motivated by money. That isn’t the case, though. His desire to make a more serious movie was simply rooted in the social climate at the time and wanting to be a part of something more meaningful than some of the projects he did in the past. In an interview with The Wrap, he said that his decision “had everything to do with Donald Trump.” Phillips went on to say, “I think what you realize as you get older and you see where the world is going, you go ‘God, you know, I’m being given these opportunities, so why not do something impactful?” he said. “When Obama was there, I did three ‘Hangover’ movies … but the world has changed drastically”.

Todd Phillips’ decision to do Joker proved to be a smart one. Although many of the reviews for the film were mixed, it was a huge success at the box office. It also solidified that Phillips is just as capable of making people think as he is at making them laugh. Making the movie was also a great experience for him. He told The Wrap, “I had so many people come up to me, write me emails or write on Instagram, about you know, ‘I have a sister who is schizophrenic and I watched your film and I realized I need to be more patient with her. I need to be more understanding. Some people will ask if I feel vindicated by the box office … but honest to God, it was never about that. We wanted to make something meaningful”.

Is Todd Phillips Done With Comedies for Good?

Now that Phillips has expanded into other areas, some people are wondering whether he will ever go back to comedy. The answer appears to be a maybe. While talking to The Wrap in 2020, he said that he would go back to making comedies if Bernie Sanders was elected president. However, as we now know, Bernie didn’t get the win and it seems unlikely that he will attempt to run again seeing as how he is 80 years old. That said, Phillips’ answer may not have been literal. He could’ve simply meant that he will return to making comedies when he feels that the world is in a better place.

What’s Next for Todd Phillips?

It’s been a few years since we’ve seen any directorial projects from Phillips, and it looks like we’re going to have to wait a little longer. According to his IMDB page, he only has one directorial project in the works at the moment. He has been announced as the director of an upcoming biopic about Hulk Hogan, but no details on the film have been released yet.

That said, Todd is also a producer and he has some production work in the pipeline. He is listed as the producer of an upcoming movie called Maestro which is directed by and stars Bradley Cooper. According to the movie’s description, Maestro is about “The complex love of Leonard and Felicia, from the time they met in 1946 at a party and continuing through two engagements, a 25 year marriage, and three children.” Unfortunately, no release date for the film has been announced. There are also rumors that there will be a sequel to the Joker and it seems likely that he will be the director.

As Phillips’ career continues to grow, it’ll be interesting to see what kinds of projects he decides to take on. No matter what, though, he has already shown the world what he is capable of.

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