Iconic actor Robert De Niro is reportedly in talks to appear in the upcoming Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix.
It was already reported in that Warner Bros. was eyeing De Niro for a role, but now The Hollywood Reporter reports that De Niro is currently has entered negotiations to play a talk show host that has a significant role in the Joker’s origin.
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 classic The 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.
De Niro is an Academy Award-winning actor with a career spanning decades and several genres. His films include The Godfather: Part 2, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Heat, Meet the Parents, Analyze This, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, and Stardust.
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 all too well.
Though Warner Bros. has not yet officially added this Joker movie to its release schedule, rumor has it that the movie is eyeing a theatrical release date of October 4, 2019.