No, Martin Scorsese Hasn’t Seen Joker

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in Joker

Although it told the origin story of one of DC Comics’ most famous super villain, Joker didn’t carry over a lot of elements from the original source material, instead opting to deliver a brand-new take on how the Clown Prince of Crime came to be. However, one way the movie did feel familiar is through its homages to Martin Scorsese’s films, but the legendary filmmaker is not one of the people who have gone to see Joker on the big screen.

Although Martin Scorsese is aware that Joker includes similar beats seen in some of his past work, particularly Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, he has no interest in watching it, saying:

I saw clips of it. I know it. So it’s like, why do I need to? I get it. It’s fine.

So per his comments to The New York Times, Martin Scorsese, who gave a lot of thought about producing Joker early on, is comfortable just seeing some snippets of the movie and knowing that it includes homages to his work. As a result, he’s not interested in seeing how Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck goes from a down-on-his-luck standup comedian to a nihilistic criminal mastermind.

That isn’t too surprising. After all, back in 2016, Scorsese said he doesn’t really watch new movies anymore due to “over saturation.” Granted, I think there’s a stronger chance of him checking out Joker than a Marvel movie (going by his comments from last year), but regardless, for now, he knows all he wishes to about the Todd Phillips-directed movie.

Martin Scorsese might not have blocked off time to see Joker, but plenty of folks did. Released at the beginning of last October, Joker has made over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the first R-rated movie to cross the billion-dollar mark and the seventh highest-grossing movie of 2019. Its critical response has been more mixed, but there’s no denying that Joker left quite the impact on pop culture, which included the steps that Joaquin Phoenix danced down in Brooklyn becoming a tourist spot.

As for Martin Scorsese, he delivered a notable move of his own last year: The Irishman, which has been met with critical acclaim since its release last November. The director also has his next filmmaking endeavor lined up (despite previous claims suggesting the contrary): Killings of the Flower Moon, adapting the same-named nonfiction book written by David Grann which chronicled the murders of Osage Indians in 1920s Oklahoma.

Joker is now available for digital purchase, and you can buy a Blu-ray/DVD copy starting next Tuesday, January 7. The Irishman can be streamed on Netflix. Both movies have received multiple nominations for this weekend’s Golden Globes, and one can logically presume they’ll also get some love when the Academy Awards nominations are announced later this month.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for all the latest and greatest movie news updates, including whether or not Joker will get a sequel. In the meantime, learn what’s already on the calendar with our 2020 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.