Joker’s Director Doesn’t Care If You Read The Leaked Script

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Leaks happen–that’s just a fact of Hollywood. And one of those leaks is the script for the highly anticipated upcoming Joker movie. The script has been floating around on the internet for some time, and although it’s not exactly readily available, it’s not impossible to find, either.

No, we won’t tell you where to get it. But what we will tell you is how the movie’s director, Todd Phillips, feels about the leak–and his reaction might surprise you.

“I don’t care that you read it–I like that it’s out there,” Phillips told GameSpot after a recent Joker screening in Los Angeles. He explained that as a filmmaker, he’s simply pleased with the idea that there are still people who are interested in reading scripts at all.

Phillips also said the version of the script that’s available on the internet is outdated.

“The leaked script got leaked six months after we started writing, six months before we started shooting,” he explained. “Somebody else asked me about it, and I go, ‘I like that it’s out there. Throw ’em off. Go that way.’

“Literally, that script that went out was an April draft. We started shooting the movie in September. That’s six months of writing–that’s half the writing process.”

Although there is a legitimate leaked script, there are also several fake versions floating around, so don’t believe everything you read about this movie. And even the real leak is significantly different from the final film. The premise is consistent–Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck is discarded by society and gradually becomes the Joker. But many changes occurred before shooting, from major plot events to small things, like the fact that Phoenix’s character is referred to as “Joker” in the leaked script, but only as Arthur in the final one.

“In the real draft, it’s Arthur the whole time,” Phillips said–adding that the change took place before he and co-writer Scott Silver even showed the script to Warner Bros.

Speaking of the studio, Phillips said he rejected Warner Bros.’ offer to try and quash the script’s spread through legal means. (Warner Bros., for its part, has no official comment on the leak, according to a representative.)

“Warner said to me, ‘Well, we can get lawyers involved, but it becomes whack-a-mole,'” the director said. “And I go, ‘You know what? It’s six months old. Who gives a s***?'”

Who gives a s*** indeed? The reviews for Joker so far have been largely positive, and the movie has scored a 70 on Metacritic as of the time of writing.

In GameSpot’s Joker review, we said that “Joker succeeds, without equivocation, because it transforms the villain into the populist antihero we need him to be now. Joker wears its influences on its maroon sleeves, but it also carves its own gashes through the blood-soaked landscape of contemporary comic book movies, offering something that, despite teetering on the shoulders of 80 years of history, is wonderfully fresh, dangerously exciting, undeniably entertaining, and rock-solid in its artistry. It might make you uncomfortable, and it will no doubt stay with you long after the curtains close; great movies often do.”

We also chatted with Phillips about whether he has plans for a Joker sequel, and whether the movie has any comic book connections.

Joker hits theaters October 4. In semi-related news, The Suicide Squad director James Gunn recently revealed the cast list for his Suicide Squad sequel, and it’s a doozy.

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