American film writer and producer Todd Phillips Bunzl was born December 20th, 1970, in Brooklyn, New York. Professionally known as Todd Phillips, he was a student at the New York University Film School, but dropped out in 1993 to finish his first documentary film Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, which was a success in its limited theatrical release. Phillips shot two other documentaries, 1998’s Frat House and Bittersweet Motel, both premiering at the Sundance Film Festival of that year.
In 2000, Todd wrote and directed his first comedy film, Road Trip, followed up by 2003’s Old School. During this period he would mainly focus on comedy movies, such as Starsky & Hutch (2004), School for Scoundrels (2006), and Borat (2006). In 2009, Phillips would become best known for directing The Hangover trilogy —the sequels coming out in 2011 and 2013, respectively— which were a huge success in national and international box offices. The first film in the trilogy also won the Golden Globe for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy). A year later, he wrote the screenplay and directed the comedy Due Date (2010), another commercial success. Aside from his roles behind the camera as writer, director and producer, Todd would also appear on screen in several of his movies, playing minor characters in them.
Although his television career is not extensive, Philips has mainly served as a producer on 2008’s made-for-TV movie The More Things Change… and 2012’s commercial Matthew Broderick’s Day Off. Between 2015 and 2016, he was the executive producer in comedy-drama series Limitless, a spin-off of the 2011 movie by the same name. In 2016, Phillips wrote and directed the black comedy crime film War Dogs, which performed moderately well at the box office but received mixed reviews from the critics. Todd’s most recent work was the standalone film centered on the DC Comics origin story of the Joker, one of the most popular comic book supervillains. He co-wrote, co-producer and directed the film, titled Joker (2019), which premiered to critical acclaim and became one of the top-ten highest grossing movies of that year. The movie earned Phillips the coveted Golden Lion at the 6th Venice International Film Festival, as well as nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards. A follow-up movie is currently in development and is set to be released in 2024.