Scorsese Talks Almost Making “Joker”

Joker Director Talks Freedom No Batman

Years ago came the first rumors of a stand-alone “Joker” movie and at the time filmmaker Martin Scorsese was rumored to be producing. It didn’t happen with Todd Phillips taking the helm, though the film itself borrows heavily from Scorsese’s work along with being produced by his regular collaborator Emma Tillinger Koskoff.

Scorsese, of course, has been in the news recently not just doing press rounds for “The Irishman” but also for his comments about comic book movies which he dubbed more akin to theme park attractions. Speaking with The BBC this week, Scorsese confirmed he did consider working on “Joker” but ultimately passed as he lacked the time.

Scorsese has been clarifying some of his statements about comic book movies, and in the video interview below he explains his potential “Joker” involvement, why he opted out and how superhero films are “another art form” and one not for him:

“I know the film very well. I know [director Todd Phillips] very well. My producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff produced it. I thought about it a lot over the last four years and decided I did not have the time for it. It was personal reasons why I didn’t get involved. But I know the script very well. It has a real energy and Joaquin [Phoenix]. You have remarkable work.

For me, ultimately, I don’t know if I make the next step into this character developing into a comic book character. You follow? He develops into an abstraction. It doesn’t mean it’s bad art, it’s just not for me…The superhero films, as I’ve said, are another art form. They are not easy to make. There’s a lot of very talented people doing good work and a lot of young people really, really enjoy them.”

Todd Phillips meanwhile spoke with The Los Angeles Times recently and unshockingly talk of a follow-up comes up in the interview which is happening as the movie approaches the $1 billion global haul mark worldwide. Phillips says there are no official plans to make another one, but he and Phoenix could return for more so long as they had a good enough idea to justify it:

“We haven’t talked about it a ton. We’ve only talked about the fact that if we ever did one – and I’m not saying we are because right now we’re not – it couldn’t just be this wild and crazy movie about the ‘Clown Prince of Crime.’ That just doesn’t interest us. It would have to have some thematic resonance in a similar way that this does.

I think that’s ultimately why the movie connected, outside of all the noise and mishegoss of the last month and a half. I think the reason why it’s resonating is what’s going on underneath the movie. So many movies are about the spark, and this movie is about the powder. If you could capture that again in a real way, that would be interesting.”

There are no plans to link “Joker” with Matt Reeves’ upcoming “The Batman” film, and no “Joker 2” officially in development at this point. “Joker” is still playing in cinemas.