Published Oct 10, 2019Ironically, Martin Scorsese has been at the centre of a debate about whether or not comic book movies are cinema while Joker —a Todd Phillips film that heavily references Scorsese's films The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver — is dominating the box office. As it turns out, Scorsese nearly had a more direct involvement in the project.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scorsese was initially on board as a producer on the film. That much is fact, but a source also told the publication that Scorsese had also initially considered the film as a potential directing vehicle.
A rep from Warner Bros. declined comment, while Scorsese's rep said he "had no intention to direct Joker" and had only "considered producing." Around the time that Joker was heating up, Scorsese turned his attention toward The Irishman.
Warner also claimed that Scorsese was considered because they needed a producer based in New York, but as THR points out, the legendary filmmaker will typically only lend his producer credit to films he intends to direct or to help up-and-coming filmmakers (like the Safdie brothers, whose Uncut Gems he produced).
Either way, there's no denying that Scorsese's imprint, whether intentional or not, is all over the current comic book title raking in box office success.