Currently, Martin Scorsese is earning rave reviews for his latest film, The Irishman. But it seems like most of his promotional efforts for that movie are being overshadowed by his recent criticisms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These came at an ironic time, since Joker (a movie with Scorsese’s influence all over it) had just begun breaking box office records. Now, the prolific filmmaker has weighed in on how involved he actually was in that movie’s development.
It’s been known for some time that Scorsese was originally intending to produce Joker with director Todd Phillips. But while speaking with BBC (via IndieWire), Scorsese elaborated on why he decided to exit the project in favor of other pursuits.
“I know the film very well,” said Scorsese. “I know [Phillips] very well. My producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff produced it. I thought about it a lot over the last four years and decided I did not have the time for it. It was personal reasons why I didn’t get involved. But I know the script very well. It has a real energy and Joaquin [Phoenix]. You have remarkable work.”
RELATED: Joker Will Arrive on HBO Max In May 2020
Scorsese made headlines last month when he said that Marvel movies are “not cinema.” He later walked back those remarks by calling them “a different cinema form.” But in his view, “cinema” shows “human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.” As it turns out, this was also the only aspect of Joker he was interested in.
“For me, ultimately, I don’t know if I make the next step into this character developing into a comic book character,” continued Scorsese. “You follow? He develops into an abstraction. It doesn’t mean it’s bad art, it’s just not for me…The superhero films, as I’ve said, are another art form. They are not easy to make. There’s a lot of very talented people doing good work and a lot of young people really, really enjoy them.”
Although he put Joker behind him, it doesn’t look like Scorsese is done talking about comic book films yet. In fact, he just published a New York Times op-ed to further clarify his thoughts on the superhero genre. You can read it for yourself here.
What do you make of Martin Scorsese’s reasoning behind leaving Joker? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Joker (DC Black Label Edition)