There's a very real chance that we're going to hear a lot of this in the coming months, so strap in.
On Wednesday, Warner Bros. unleashed the first proper teaser trailer for Todd Phillips' Joker, the Batman villain origin story starring none other than Oscar-nominated crafter of brooding whimsy Joaquin Phoenix. For cinephiles, the footage may have brought to mind a few choice aesthetic decisions that informed the dark themes of Martin Scorsese's 1976 classic Taxi Driver.
Of course, the Taxi Driver talk has been bubbling since at least 2017, when reliable reports started surfacing that Scorsese and Phillips were developing a then-Joaquinless Joker film for Warner Bros. Reports at the time specifically mentioned the film as a tonal inspiration, with other Scorsese entries like Raging Bull also cited.
Taxi Driver star Robert De Niro, who bagged a Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of a young discharged U.S. Marine named Travis Bickle, is notably also among the cast of Phillips' Joker, playing a talk show host. De Niro's Joker role is additionally being noted by some as part of a possible nod to another Scorsese x De Niro classic, The King of Comedy.
Scorsese, meanwhile, was set to executive produce Joker, but had to bow out due to scheduling issues.
Though it's impossible to truly get into the collective mind of a creative team and confirm their inspirations for a specific project, the highly complimentary Scorsese comparisons received an additional pre-trailer boost at Warner Bros.' CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas.
We won't get a shot at seeing Joker in full until Oct. 4, a six-month period of patience during which speculation could theoretically take us anywhere. As Phillips himself cautioned at the CinemaCon footage reveal, per IndieWire, "a lot" of reports on the contents of the film have not been accurate.
Until then, let's have some fun with this Scorsese stuff.