It wasn’t too long ago that the world learned there would be a Joker origin movie starring Joaquin Phoenix as a younger incarnation of the villain in 80’s Gotham. It was intended to be shot on a budget in the $55 million range and not be a part of the greater DCEU (which would have it competing against Jared Leto’s Joker movie). Recently, we received some leaked plot details, and now we’re learning that Robert De Niro is in talks to join this strange non-canon venture.
According to the report, De Niro would play a talk show host who somehow leads to the creation of Phoenix’s Joker. So, he wouldn’t be playing any familiar face in the franchise, rather someone totally new for the movie. Of course, I’d be surprised to see any known characters in this. Hell, there most likely won’t even be much of a Joker to see in it (though undoubtedly more of the Joker than we saw in Suicide Squad), which makes one wonder how much of a comic book movie will exist within the dark crime drama.
The weirdest thing about this news, however, is the thought that this is kind of a step up for De Niro. With recent offerings like Dirty Grandpa and The Intern under his belt, the actor’s been taking some pretty rough roles. The chance for him to take on anything with some more weight, even a DC movie at a time when they can’t seem to get anything right, seems like a move for the better.
And to be totally honest, this is the only DC movie I’m optimistic about. It’s separated from the floundering universe, has a lower budget, and what seems like a clear vision. It’s getting great talent attached, and I can’t see a reason to be skeptical–yet.
We’ll see how that bit of hope pans out for me whenever the hell this movie drops.