It's confirmed that Robert De Niro is in talks for the Joaquin Phoenix Joker origin movie. Previously, rumors only suggested the studio had an eye on De Niro for a supporting role in the project.
The plot for the Joker movie is under wraps for now, but it will offer an origin story for the character who eventually becomes the Clown Prince of Gotham. Although the film itself seemed just a rumor, official confirmation came earlier this month, with details about casting and potential storylines following quickly after that. The consensus is the movie will go back to the early days of the Joker as a failed comic, followed by an origin story that may or may not involve a vat of chemicals. The movie will act as a separate story from the Joker in the Worlds of DC movies. In those films, actor Jared Leto takes on the role.
Deadline reported Warner Bros. is in talks with De Niro as a supporting character in the movie. The talks began several weeks ago for the actor to take on a supporting role. That role is a talk show host, someone who plays a big part in how the Joker actually becomes the Joker. Deadline reiterates, though, that this character is not a villain.
Previous rumors about De Niro's casting gave the character the name of Murray Franklin, described as "Male (65-75) Caucasian." There is no confirmation this is the actual name of the character De Niro is in talks to play, though. He certainly fits the description, what little there is of it, and it could make sense the character description was so vague because Warner Bros. already knew who they wanted in that role.
Phoenix promises this standalone movie will separate itself from previous DC Comics films in other ways. For starters, it's a low-budget film. It's not a superhero movie and won't feel like a studio movie. It will also delve more into the psyche of the main character than other similar films.
The Joker film is a passion project for Phoenix, who has wanted to do a low-budget comic book villain movie for several years. Although he never believed he could do that as the Joker, as the character is so popular and has had so many iterations, he got his wish with the new movie that will begin production very soon.
This is a film many DC Comics fans have wanted all along. The Joker has always been an intriguing character and getting a film that explores what's inside his head will prove interesting. Adding De Niro to the cast just makes it that much more exciting.
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