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Martin Scorsese Reveals Why He Passed on Making Joker

November 5, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Joker Joaquin Phoenix

Joker is a box office hit with strong Martin Scorsese vibes, and the director has confirmed that he did consider actually producing it. Scorsese spoke with BBC (courtesy of IndieWire and said that he did think about directing the film, which he was reportedly circling to produce, but simply decided that he wouldn’t be the best fit for the movie.

“I know the film very well,” Scorsese said. “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. You have remarkable work.”

He added that another big factor was the fact that Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck eventually becomes the iconic DC villain. “For me, ultimately, I don’t know if I make the next step into this character developing into a comic book character,” he said. “You follow? He develops into an abstraction. It doesn’t mean it’s bad art, it’s just not for me … It’s different from the superhero films, it’s very different. The superhero films, as I’ve said, are another art form. They’re 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.”

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Joker, Martin Scorsese, Jeremy Thomas