“I’m just not a superhero guy”: What Joker 2 Director Todd Phillips Has Said About Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy Might Be Hard to Swallow for Cinema Fans

Todd Phillips knows his movies and there's nothing that comes close to Christopher Nolanʼs vision, according to his opinion.

Joaquin Phoenix Joker and Christian Bale Batman


  • Todd Phillips makes a contentious and divisive claim about Christopher Nolanʼs Dark Knight trilogy.
  • Christopher Nolan changes the landscape of superhero culture with his Batman films starring Christian Bale.
  • Todd Phillips undermines the power of superhero films only to join the bandwagon a couple of years later.
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Todd Phillips may be blessed with a keen eye when it comes to cinema but his comments on Christopher Nolan’s universally recognized classic, the Dark Knight trilogy, is a scarily contentious opinion. But as sacred as Christian Bale’s DC outing may have been, there exists a limitation to the height of the pedestal that one is allowed to be raised to.


Batman Begins
Batman Begins (2005) [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
With the passage of time, it may have become easier to cope with the withdrawal of Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece. However, it is with loyalty, dedication, and love that the audience time and again returns to the Dark Knight trilogy. This shows not only an instinctive pull towards the series but also an admiration unmarred by time or repeated watching.

The Spirituality of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy

It’s not every day that one can claim to live through the golden era of DC. Even though tragedy and penance mark the identity of DC’s Bruce Wayne, Christopher Nolan’s CBM film held the hero in a different light that gave him more character and personality than he is usually imbued with on screen.


Christian Bale as the Dark Knight
Christian Bale as the Dark Knight [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
As such, it was easy to fall in love with Christian Bale’s version of Batman which has often been dubbed as the best rendition of the DC hero. Presented as a character study and an evolution throughout the entire trilogy arc, the Dark Knight films hardly lack the gravity of the plot, iconic villains, superb cinematography, exceptional dialogue, and bold music to elevate each scene to a spiritual level.

However, no matter how spiritual the experience may be, Todd Phillips’ comments about Nolan’s work are sure to incite a level of horror among the followers of cinema.

Todd Phillips Makes a Bold Claim About DC’s Dark Knight

Joker witnesses the rise of an ultradark villain
Joker (2019) [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
In a bold reclaiming of the era of comic book adaptations by DC Studios, the current age of gods, heroes, monsters, and villains has taken an undisputed stand on the frontlines of cinema. However, the recent outrage regarding the advent of James Gunn’s DCU and his erratic handling of the former DCEU has left fans hopeless once more against a studio juggernaut.


However, Todd Phillips is armed and ready with the best pick-me-up line of all time, wherein he compares the Dark Knight trilogy with Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy. In a 2016 interview with IndieWire, while promoting his film War Dogs, Phillips said:

I’m just not a superhero guy. That said, I watched Chris Nolan’s movies and those are up there with the fucking ‘Godfather’ trilogy. For me, he’s the greatest filmmaker and it’s just mind-blowing what he does.

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker
Joaquin Phoenix as Joker [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Moreover, Phillips went on to make claims about superhero films that would come back to haunt him in the future. He added:

I don’t watch those movies. They give me headaches half the time, they’re so loud… I don’t know that I would add anything to the next ‘Justice League’ or whatever they’re making. Those aren’t my kind of movies, but I like them and, by the way, they help get movies like this made because they make the money and it keeps the film business going.

Not more than 2 years later, Todd Phillips jumped on board the superhero train when he began developing Joker with Joaquin Phoenix at the helm. The billion-dollar Oscar-winning film then spawned a sequel starring Lady Gaga alongside the titular protagonist in a musical take on the Joker’s story.


The Dark Knight trilogy is available for streaming on Max.

Joker: Folie à Deux will premiere worldwide on October 4, 2024.


Written by Diya Majumdar

Articles Published: 1626

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has over 1600 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for music, Monet, and Van Gogh.