Director Martin Scorsese has said that he hasn’t seen Joker, a film that directly references his past work. Scorsese had previously fuelled controversy after he compared comic book films to theme park rides.
In an interview to The New York Times, Scorsese was asked if he’d had a chance to watch Joker, a film that defied expectations and made over $1 billion at the global box office. “I saw clips of it,” Scorsese said. “I know it. So it’s like, why do I need to? I get it. It’s fine.”
Scorsese was previously attached to Joker as an executive producer, back when Warner Bros reportedly wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to play the part. Scorsese left the film to focus on The Irishman. However, his co-producer on the Netflix gangster film, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, also produced Joker.
Director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix have both said on numerous occasions that Joker pays homage to Scorsese’s classic films Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy.
“I know the film very well,” Scorsese told the BBC about Joker. “I know Todd very well. My producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff produced it. I thought about it a lot over the last four years and decided I did not have the time for it. It was personal reasons why I didn’t get involved. But I know the script very well. It has a real energy and Joaquin.”
Both Joker and The Irishman have been acclaimed. While The Irishman has received five nominations at the Golden Globes, Joker scored four. The comic book film also won the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.