Robert De Niro could be joining Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker movie

Yes, apparently this project is still happening

Robert De Niro (Getty, HF)

While the cinematic universe of Warner Bros and DC remains incredibly convoluted, against all the odds Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker movie – the film based on Batman’s most iconic villain, but unconnected to Ben Affleck’s Batman, or indeed the other version of the Joker played by Jared Leto, who may also be getting his own movie – seems to be moving forward.

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Now a big star is reportedly looking to join the project, with Robert De Niro rumoured to be in negotiations to play a talk show host in the film, described by The Hollywood Reporter as someone “who is somehow instrumental in the Joker’s origin”.

If De Niro does end up joining the cast – which is separate from DC’s shared universe superhero movies like Aquaman and Wonder Woman, and apparently has a darker tone and more modest budget – it would be his first foray into the superhero genre, even if the movie does end up being a bit more grounded than many others (supposedly it’s more of a “character exploration” that goes lighter on the action).

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The film is directed by Todd Philips, who co-wrote the script with 8 Mile’s Scott Silver, and may include Atlanta and Deadpool 2 star Zazie Beetz, who’s also rumoured to be circling an unknown role in the project.