Biography of Todd Phillips

Todd Phillips is a director and writer, known primarily for directing and writing broad Hollywood comedies. His films include Road Trip, Old School, Starsky & Hutch, The Hangover, and Due Date. He also adapted the screenplay for Borat, which earned him a nomination for an Academy Award. Since making a name for himself as a comedic director, Phillips has directed the films War Dogs and Joker, the latter of which earned him a number of Academy Award nominations.

Philips was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised on Long Island. After dropping out of NYU Film School, he began directing documentaries, the first of which was Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, about the controversial punk rocker GG Allin, which became one of the highest-grossing student films of all time. His second documentary was called Frat House, about American fraternities, followed by Bittersweet Motel, about the jam band Phish. After this, he began working on comedies, which earned him mainstream success in Hollywood.

In 2014, Phillips told an interviewer that he was done making comedies because he was fed up with "woke culture." He said, "Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture. There were articles written about why comedies don't work anymore—I'll tell you why, because all the fucking funny guys are like, 'Fuck this shit, because I don't want to offend you.' It's hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter." It was then that he turned towards more dramatic material. His 2019 film Joker is his best-known drama, and it split viewers and critics alike.

Study Guides on Works by Todd Phillips

Joker is a film directed, produced, and written by Todd Phillips (his cowriter was Scott Silver). It is based around the DC Comics villain The Joker and stars Joaquin Phoenix as the title character. Phillips cites Martin Scorsese's films Taxi...