×

Robert De Niro in Talks to Join Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Movie

Robert De Niro is in talks to join Joaquin Phoenix in Todd Phillips’ untitled Joker origin movie, sources confirmed to Variety.

Sources say De Niro would be portraying a talk-show host who plays a part in driving Phoenix’s character to go mad and become the Clown Prince of Crime. According to insiders, the script has ties to De Niro’s film “King of Comedy,” about a failing comedian who kidnaps a popular talk-show host to gain fame. In this case, the roles would be reversed, with De Niro playing the smug host.

Phillips is on board to co-write and direct the Warner Bros. movie.

Insiders stress that Jared Leto, who starred in “Suicide Squad” as the Joker, is still on board as the character in the DC Universe and that this Phoenix pic has no effect on what happens with Leto’s character in future DC films.

Leto will likely reprise the role in “Suicide Squad 2,” but will not be featured in this film. He will star in and exec produce a standalone Joker movie of his own.

Similar to Phoenix, De Niro has stayed away from superhero fare over the years. What drew the actor to the role was Phillips’ pitch that the film would resemble an ’80s crime noir, a genre De Niro knows well.

De Niro recently wrapped production on Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” opposite Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. He is repped by CAA.

RELATED VIDEO:

More Film

  • Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider'

    Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider' Gets a Concert/Screening Premiere at Radio City

    In a year full of major 50th anniversary commemorations — from Woodstock to the moon landing — why not one for “Easy Rider,” Dennis Hopper’s hippie-biker flick that was released on July 14, 1969? That was the idea when a rep for Peter Fonda, who starred in the film as the laid-back Captain America, reached out [...]

  • Costa Gavras

    Costa-Gavras and Cast on Nationality, Identity, and Cinema

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Though he’s been based in Paris since 1955 and came up through the French film industry, director Costa-Gavras has never forgotten his roots. “Those who are born Greek,” said the Peloponnese-born filmmaker at a Saturday press conference,  “stay Greek all their lives.” The once-and-always Greek was not just in San Sebastian to [...]

  • Lorene Scafaria, Jennifer Lopez. Lorene Scafaria,

    'Hustlers' Director Lorene Scafaria: 'We Wanted to Treat It Like a Sports Movie'

    The star-studded cast of “Hustlers” didn’t just become strippers in the empowering female-helmed blockbuster — they also became athletes. When speaking to “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month, “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria explained the extreme athleticism required of the movie’s leading actresses, who all had [...]

  • Jonathan Van NessLos Angeles Beautycon, Portrait

    Jonathan Van Ness Reveals HIV Diagnosis, Former Drug Addiction

    “Queer Eye’s” Jonathan Van Ness is getting vulnerable in his new memoir “Over the Top.” In a preview of his book with the New York Times, Van Ness opened up about his early struggles with sex and drug addiction as well as his experience with sexual assault, revealing that he was abused by an older [...]

  • 4127_D022_00003_RC(l-r.) Elizabeth McGovern stars as Lady

    Box Office: 'Downton Abbey' Dominating 'Ad Astra,' 'Rambo' With $31 Million Opening

    “Downton Abbey” is heading for a positively brilliant opening weekend after scoring $13.8 million in domestic ticket sales on Friday. If estimates hold, the feature film version of the popular British television show should take home approximately $31 million come Sunday, marking the biggest opening ever for distributor Focus Features and beating previous record holder [...]

  • Gully Boy to represent India in

    'Gully Boy' to Represent India In Oscars Race

    The Film Federation of India has chosen Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy” as its entry in the Academy Awards’ international feature film category. The picture, a coming of age tale about an aspiring rapper in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum premiered at the Berlin film festival in February before opening to a wave of acclaim at home in [...]

  • Lucy-Lost

    Cartoon Forum: 30th Anniversary, Little Giants and New Generations

    TOULOUSE, France –  Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Cartoon Forum wrapped Sept. 19 having showcased the ever-growing strength of European animation. 85 projects were pitched from 24 countries at the co-production forum platform that played host to north of 1,000 investors, distributors and producers – a record number. Falling on French-speaking Belgium – Wallonie-Bruxelles – whose [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content