Veteran actor Robert De Niro is in talks to join Joaquin Phoenix in the latter’s upcoming Joker origin movie titled Joker. According to The Hollywood Reporter, De Niro, if the negotiations are successful, will play a talk show host who is “somehow instrumental in the Joker’s origin.”
Warner Bros and DC’s Joker is helmed by The Hangover trilogy director Todd Phillips and Phoenix stars as the iconic comic-book bad guy. This film will not fall under the DC film universe that already has Jared Leto as the Batman villain. Leto will continue to play the role for the time being in future movies.
Unlike most other comic-book movies, Joker has a smaller budget of Rs 55 million dollars. It is not expected to be a slugfest between superheroes and bad guys but actually a sedate character study of one man who descends into madness.
The official synopsis reads, “Under the direction of Todd Phillips, the film centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of a man disregarded by society is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”
Right from the beginning, the studio has been interested in associating big names with this project, people who would not usually do a comic-book movie.
Initially, reports said Warner Bros wanted Leonardo DiCaprio for the role and Martin Scorsese was onboard as an executive producer, but this is no longer the case.
The film is said to take inspiration from Alan Moore’s landmark graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke, that has the most widely accepted Joker’s origin story.