Joker: Todd Phillips Talks Casting Robert De Niro Opposite His King Of Comedy Role

With the Todd Phillips’ standalone Joker film creeping towards release, it makes sense we’d start to hear details from the production. With a cast led by veteran Gladiator actor Joaquin Phoenix and tethered with some A-list talent, all signs are pointing to this being a bang-up movie. Now we have some solid information as to what lured Todd Phillips to swoop up veteran Taxi Driver actor Robert De Niro as part of the project.

Recently, the director spoke to Empire and shed some light on his decision to cast Robert De Niro in the role of Murray Franklin.

“I met with him and said, ‘I’d be lying to you if I said we weren’t influenced by a lot of your movies.’ I talked with him about Taxi Driver and about The King Of Comedy, which is one of my favourite movies of all time.”

RELATED – Todd Phillips Says His Upcoming Joker Doesn’t Follow Anything From The Comics

As serendipity would have it, De Niro’s Murray Franklin will be an opposite character from his role in The King of Comedy, where he kidnapped a talk show host. Here, Franklin Murray is the talk show host, and Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck the wannabe-comedian who will likely be unleashing his anger on the host.

So far, Todd Phillips is proud to have the Joker film wear its King of Comedy influences on its sleeves. The poster for the film released a few months back went as far as to ape a scene from Martin Scorsese’s 1982 classic The King of Comedy. Unironically, both films chronicle a comedian’s terrifying descent into chaos.

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