Robert De Niro is in negotiations to join Joaquin Phoenix in the hotly-anticipated stand-alone Joker movie, which is being directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips.
In what is shaping up to be arguably the most intriguing comic book movie adaptation of recent times, Phoenix will star as Batman’s most iconic nemesis.
Though details remain scarce, initial reports suggest the film will be set in Gotham City sometime around the early 1980s.
Scott Silver, who is best known for penning the scripts to both 8 Mile and The Fighter, is writing the film, which is being made on a modest budget that will allow Phillips to explore some far darker themes.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of De Niro’s potential involvement, noting that the Oscar-winner is being lined up to play “a talk show host who is somehow instrumental in the Joker’s origin”.
It marks a radical but welcome departure for De Niro, whose recent work has been dominated by a raft of hit-and-miss comedies and sentimental dramas.
The Joker project is being made aa budget of around $55 million, with the project set to serve as more of a character-led drama than an out-and-out fight fest.
De Niro is expected to confirm his involvement soon, with lensing on the project set to begin in New York this September.
This latest bit of casting news comes hot on the heels of a report from The Wrap which indicates American Horror Story and Six Feet Under actress Francis Conroy is being lined up to play the Joker’s mother.
Honestly, this movie cannot come soon enough.