Martin Scorsese says he was mulling making 'Joker' for four years

Director Martin Scorsese arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Irishman" on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, at the TCL Chinese Theatre. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Martin Scorsese arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of The Irishman (Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Martin Scorsese's connection to the Joker movie runs much deeper than we previously thought.

The Goodfellas director was at one time on board to produce the film, but he eventually walked away in order to make his mob epic The Irishman.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “I thought about it a lot over the past four years, the Joker. And I decided that I didn’t have the time for it.”

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Scorsese was indeed named as a producer on the movie when early reports emerged of Todd Philips signing on to direct.

Then news in The Hollywood Reporter last month suggested that Scorsese was even mulling directing it himself for a time.

Referring to comments Scorsese has made about the Marvel movies being 'theme park' movies rather than 'cinema', interviewer Sam Asi asked whether he considered Joker to be a 'theme park' movie too.

“I don't know about that, and I know the film, very well. I know Todd very well. My producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff produced it,” Scorsese adds.

“It's an interesting question... There were personal reasons for not getting involved, but I know the script very well. It's remarkable work.

“For me, ultimately, I don’t know if I make the next step, which is this character developing into a comic book character, you follow? It develops into an abstraction. That’s different from the superhero films; it’s very different.

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“The superhero films, as I said, is another art form. They’re not easy to make, they’re a lot of very talented people doing good work, a lot of young people really, really enjoy them. But I do think it’s an amusement park, an extension of the amusement park.”

Whether Scorsese considers Joker to be in the same vein as the Marvel movies or not, it's making Marvel movie money.

This past weekend, it sailed past $937 million worldwide, on a distinctly un-Marvel-like $55 million budget.

Scorsese’s The Irishman lands on Netflix on November 27.