Robert De Niro Reportedly in Talks to Join 'Joker' Origin Movie

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.

The film is set to be directed by Todd Phillips, who is best known for directing The Hangover.

"As for [Robert] De Niro's role, I don't think he's playing some canon type character," Hollywood insider Jeff Sneider recently said. "I think he's playing like a local TV host or something like that, who's maybe broadcasting about the Joker. I'm not entirely sure. I do know that one character who has a big role in this is Thomas Wayne."

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.

Those last two films notwithstanding, De Niro has typically shied away from unrealistic films, preferring to stick to grounded roles even in his comedies. He could get to have it both ways with the Joker movie, which is said to be darker and less reliant on effects than a typical comic book movie, as evidenced by its relatively moderate $55 million budget.

Phoenix himself, who will play the Joker, has tried to distance the film from other movies based on comic book superheroes.

“I wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre," Phoenix said. "I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a...It feels unique, and I think more than anything, and probably the most important thing, is Todd seems very passionate about it and very giving, and so that’s exciting. I think, underneath the excitement of these films, and the size of them, there are these incredible characters that are dealing with real-life struggles.

"And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn’t, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied. And so I think that’s what Todd sees appealing about this idea."

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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.