Robert De Niro is being lined up for the Joker prequel

Robert De Niro (Credit: EFE)
Robert De Niro (Credit: EFE)

The makers of the forthcoming Joker prequel movie, which will likely star Joaquin Phoenix, are eyeing Robert De Niro for a key role, according to reports.

That Hashtag Show is behind the chatter, and it also seems to have scooped a raft of information about other potential characters currently being cast.

Todd Phillips, helmsman of the Hangover movies, will be behind the camera, and Martin Scorsese reputedly among the movie’s producers.

It’s thought that it will tell the story of how the Joker, a failed comedian, became the psychotic clown prince of crime that Gotham knows and loves, a story outside of DC Comics lore, and likely presented as part of a strand removed from DC’s Extended Universe movies, which has been referred to as DC Dark.

Joaquin Phoenix (Credit: EFE/ Ettore Ferrari)
Joaquin Phoenix (Credit: EFE/ Ettore Ferrari)

It would also be presented out of the Suicide Squad strand, where Jared Leto plays the Joker.

De Niro’s character, if he signs up, would be called Murray Franklin, with little other info to go on other than that he’s ‘Male (65-75) Caucasian’, according to casting notes.

Other characters, via That Hashtag Show, include:

Penny: Supporting female (60-74), Caucasian. Lower class, very attractive in her younger days, still feels that way about herself. But recently her health has started failing, and she’s nearly bedridden in her Lower East Side apartment which she shares with her grown son who just moved back home. She’s obsessed with her former employer and can’t believe that this is what her life has come to, that she has ended up here, like this.

Sophie Dumond: Supporting female (27-34), to play African American or to play Latina. Not beautiful, has a hardness to her, a single mother living on the Lower East Side, doing the best she can, trying to make ends meet; worn out by the grind of the city. She understands how the system is stacked against her and the people in her community, how unjust it all is for them. She’s just trying to catch a break.

Randall: Supporting male (40-59), Caucasian. Thinks he’s the wisest and most knowledgeable person in any room he’s in, tries to present himself as a mentor to everybody, but is really just looking out for himself, burly.

Gary: Supporting male (30-49), any ethnicity to play a dwarf. Randall’s best friend, he’s good-natured and a buddy to his colleagues at work, one of the only decent people in the whole movie.

Hoyt Vaughn: Supporting male (50-69), any ethnicity. The old-school manager of hotel staff. He’s seen it all, and finds it difficult to give a sh*t about much of anything anymore.

Detective Garrity: Supporting male (50-59), any ethnicity. Police Detective in a city on the brink; a by-the-book cop, worn down by all his years on the force. He doesn’t care about or take into consideration any of the societal or political ramifications of his cases.

Detective Burke: Supporting male (30-39), any ethnicity. A Police Detective and Garrity’s partner; he’s an a**hole, who gets off by being in a position of authority. Being a cop is how he defines himself.

Filming is thought to begin in September, meaning some casting announcements could be made shortly.

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