The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Robert De Niro is in negotiations to join Joaquin Phoenix in Warner Bros. upcoming Joker stand-alone movie. If a deal is made, De Niro would appear in his first comic book movie playing the role of a talk show host instrumental in the Joker’s origin. Zazie Beets (Deadpool 2) is also in talks for a role in the film.
De Niro has won or been nominated for his work in such classics as The Godfather: Part II 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. 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.
Under the direction of Todd Phillips (The Hangover franchise), the new film centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of a man disregarded by society is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.
Phillips will direct from a screenplay he co-wrote with writer Scott Silver (The Fighter). The film will be produced by Emma Tillinger Koskoff and executive produced by Richard Baratta and begins production later this year. It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Joker is set to debut in theaters on October 4, 2019. On that release date the film will go up against Paramount’s Gemini Man from director Ang Lee and Fox’s thriller The Woman in the Window starring Amy Adams.
Warner Bros. is also reportedly in development on a separate Joker feature film which would star Jared Leto as the villain, reprising his role from Suicide Squad.
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