Robert De Niro is in talks to star alongside Joaquin Phoenix in 2019’s ‘Joker’ origin story. It is understood that De Niro would play a talk show host who is “somehow instrumental” in the legendary villain’s comeuppance. The film, simply titled Joker, will be released in theaters on October 4, 2019.
Joker is being directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover, War Dogs) from a script that he co-wrote with Scott Silver (8 Mile, The Fighter).
While plot details are largely unknown, the stand-alone is supposed to be set in Gotham City in the early 1980s and is going to be more of a drama and character study than an explosion-filled fight-fest action movie.
via The Hollywood Reporter:
If a deal is made, De Niro would play a talk show host who is somehow instrumental in the Joker’s origin.
De Niro has won or been nominated for his work in such classics as The Godfather: Part 2 and Raging Bull, appeared in crime dramas and thrillers such as Goodfellas and Heat, and even comedies such as the Meet the Parents series and Analyze This. And while he has occasionally dipped a toe in fantastical or fantasy fare with The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle or Stardust, he has eschewed the material and has certainly avoided comic book movies.
But the Joker stand-alone is being developed as no ordinary comic book movie. The budget is in the $55 million range, significantly lower than most comic book tentpoles that feature characters from Marvel or DC. And the stand-alone is said to be a character exploration as well as a drama, not a fight-fest.
Production on Joker is set to begin in September. While I have largely been a vocal critic of making an origin movie about the Joker (he’s so mysterious even Batman himself doesn’t know his “origins”), adding a legend like De Niro to a key role is certainly a step in the right direction.
As for which character De Niro will be playing, there are three likely options in my semi-professional opinion:
A) David Endocrine: Endocrine is a talk-show host that is murdered by the Joker in the animated version of The Dark Knight Returns Part 2. The Joker is appearing on Endocrine’s show to show that he is a changed man, which, of course, he’s not.
B) Jack Ryder: Ryder is an “investigative reporter turned controversial talk show host” that appears in the Arkham video games and Batman: The Animated Series.
C) An entirely new character created specifically for the movie.