Those Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio Joker Rumors Have Finally Been Put To Rest

Well, well, well.

2018 Museum Of Modern Art Film Benefit: A Tribute To Martin Scorsese
Noam Galai

If you were hoping that we were coming to the tail end of the exhausting and often confusing Joker news cycle now that the film has actually been released, we’re here to be the bearer of bad news. With awards season ramping up, and Joaquin Phoenix already pegged as a front runner for all the top acting awards, we’re just getting started.

Case and point: a new story from The Hollywood Reporter, in which Martin Scorsese is named as an early directing candidate for the film, which as we all know, was eventually helmed by Todd Phillips. According to THR, Scorsese was attached as an executive producer in the film’s early stages, and even considered it a “potential directing vehicle.” Scorsese’s team denied the report, insisting that he was only ever interested in producing.

That’s not the only rumor that’s put to bed in THR’s report. We also learn that early speculation that Scorsese’s involvement was originally meant as a tool to entice Leonardo DiCaprio to star in the film is also false. According to THR’s multiple sources, Phoenix was the only actor ever considered for the role of Joker.

The report comes at an interesting time, after last week’s uproar following Scorsese’s comments that he doesn’t consider Marvel movies real “cinema.” If that is indeed the case, it’s hard to imagine the auteur ever considering directing a movie that while deeply grounded in reality, is still a comic book movie at heart. Regardless, all parties involved ultimately walked away with a big fat W. Phillips has one of the biggest hits of the year on his hands, Phoenix will likely walk away with some major hardware by year’s end, as will Scorsese, who’s upcoming gangster epic The Irishman is poised to make major noise come Oscar time. And Leo, well, Leo’s Leo.

Related: Martin Scorsese Doesn’t Think Marvel Movies Are Actually Movies