Report: Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker’ Movie Is DC’s ‘King of Comedy’
Hold onto your butts because that Joker origin movie just keeps getting wilder. According to a new report, Todd Phillips’ DCEU spinoff is taking a page from Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, exploring how one desperate man’s failed career as a stand-up comic in the ’80s inspired him to become Batman’s most iconic villain. Is this a movie project or a series of escalating dares?
The Wrap reports that Joaquin Phoenix is very close to signing on for the DCEU origin story / spinoff, which isn’t set in the same universe as the Justice League series. Instead, the Joker movie will function outside the main superhero franchise as part of a new series of films that exist independently from the established canon. (Apparently Warner Bros. and DC Films are creating a new, separate production banner for these movies.)
Todd Phillips’ Joker movie is set in the ’80s and will star Phoenix as a failed stand-up comic who turns to a life of crime, with The King of Comedy serving as inspiration for the story. Martin Scorsese’s 1982 classic starred Robert De Niro as a delusional man whose dreams of becoming a comedian lead him to stalk and torment his idol — a famous late-night talk show host played by Jerry Lewis.
As previously reported, Scorsese is producing Phillips’ Joker movie — marking the iconic filmmaker’s first foray into superhero blockbusters. While the unsuccessful stand-up comic thing might seem a little too absurdly gritty for Batman’s arch-nemesis, a similar background was given to the Joker in The Killing Joke, Alan Moore’s notoriously divisive graphic novel.
The Joker movie is reportedly looking to begin production this year for a 2019 release, though it may be delayed by rewrites, as 8 Mile scribe Scott Silver is currently revising the script with Phillips.