Robert De Niro is in talks to join Joaquin Phoenix in Todd Phillips’ untitled Joker origin movie, Variety reports. De Niro would be playing a talk-show host who has a part in driving Phoenix’s character to go mad and become the Clown Prince of Crime.
Insiders tell Variety that the script has ties to De Niro’s King of Comedy, which was a film about a failing comedian who kidnaps a popular talk-show host to gain fame.
Insiders also told Variety that Jared Leto, who starred in Suicide Squad as the Joker is still on board as the character in the DC Universe. Phoenix’s film will have no effect on what happens to Leto’s character in later DC films.
De Niro and Phoenix have both avoided superhero movies in the past, but Variety writes that De Niro was drawn to the role because of Phillip’s pitch that the film would resemble an ’80s crime noir, a genre De Niro is used to.
A release date for the film was recently set for Oct. 4, 2019.
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