A new report claims to reveal the roles that Robert De Niro and Marc Maron will be playing in the upcoming Joker movie. That Hashtag Show, an entertainment news website best known for its casting scoops, claims that De Niro will be playing the host of a talk show in the film, with Maron’s character serving as a producer on the show. As the film is rumored to have political undertones, fans of the Batman character are theorizing that Joker will follow the example set by Frank Miller’s 1986 graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, which interspersed its narrative with news segments known as “talking heads.” The plot device was previously used in the two-part animated adaptation of Miller’s work released in 2012 and 2013, with comedian and late-night host Conan O’Brien providing voiceover work.
De Niro’s involvement in the film comes from his frequent collaboration with Martin Scorsese, who is serving as the producer for Joker. Warner Bros. originally tapped Scorsese to direct the film before giving the honor to Todd Phillips, who is best known for his work with The Hangover films.
The reveal of De Niro and Maron’s roles in the film comes following a whirlwind of news on the project in the past week. By far the most well-known report to come out of Joker recently was Alec Baldwin’s casting as Batman’s father Thomas Wayne followed by his quick departure from the film. Despite Baldwin’s departure, which was due to scheduling conflicts, news outlets reported that the film’s take on Thomas Wayne would be a sharp departure from how he is portrayed in the comics. While his comic counterpart is a well-known surgeon and philanthropist, Joker’s adaptation of Wayne will portray him as a cheesy businessman in a vein similar to Donald Trump in the 80s. Additionally, news also broke that Joaquin Phoenix, who is playing the film’s version of the iconic Batman villain, has lost a significant amount of weight in preparation for the film’s early fall shoot.
Joker is scheduled for release on October 4, 2019. The film will be an origin story and set outside the DC Extended Universe. In addition to Phoenix, De Niro, and Maron, the film stars Deadpool 2’s Zazie Beetz and American Horror Story’s Frances Conroy.