Robert de Niro has verified that there is a link involving Joker and Martin Scorsese’s 1982 movie The King of Comedy. The first movie trailer for Todd Phillip’s variation of the Clown Prince of Crime’s origin story dropped last month and it showcased Joaquin Phoenix becoming unhinged. Additionally, it featured the short appearance of De Niro’s Murray Franklin character, who is a TV show host and something that his character in King of Comedy wanted very badly.

Prior to the Joker trailer was launched, DC released the first poster for the movie too. Eagle-eyed movie theater fans were able to spot that Joaquin Phoenix is wearing the same jacker that Robert De Niro’s Rupert Pupkin character wears in The King of Comedy. In the movie, De Niro’s Pupkin is a psychopathic comedian who is obsessive about a TV host, that is already fairly similar to Joker. De Niro had this to say about the connection.

“There’s a connection, obviously, with the whole thing. But it’s not as direct connection as the character I’m playing being Rupert many years later as a host.”

Although Robert De Niro isn’t playing Rupert Pupkin again, he states that he could have been interested in making the immediate The King of Comedy connection, had Todd Phillips and the producers made the suggestions to him on the set. That could have been quite a crazy link with timeless movie. “But by making this type of film, it is connected in a way, as you’ll see,” says De Niro. The movie currently looks very intriguing and it will most likely get people into the theaters who wouldn’t usually go see a comic book movie.

Joker is going for a different approach with the Clown Prince of Crime from what we have seen previously. We’re already getting hints at just how Joaquin Phoenix’s version of the character is formed by society with a pretty difficult experience, that ought to make for a pretty exciting rise from the ashes. When the film was initially announced, lots of DC fans were on the fence regarding another actor coming in and accepting the role of the Joker. Nonetheless, that all changed as soon as the first image of Phoenix was released by Phillips. The interview with Robert de Niro was originally conducted by Indie Wire.

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