Martin Scorsese has said that he “didn’t want to get involved” with Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, but did acknowledge the influence his films had on it.

Asked for his opinion on the movie, the director said that he was “fascinated by the fact that it’s influenced by King of Comedy and Taxi Driver. Especially King of Comedy, because I always point out that the only place that King of Comedy was appreciated was Britain.”

He added, in his interview with The Guardian: “But I didn’t want to get involved with it.”

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Joker, directed by Todd Phillips, was noted upon release for its similarities to 1983’s The King of Comedy, about a loner who idolises a TV comic, and 1978’s Taxi Driver, about a lonely vigilante living in urban New York.

Scorsese himself was originally speculated to be involved with Joker as a producer, but he is not credited on the final film.

It was claimed in October that Scorsese was originally offered the chance to direct the film. The filmmaker’s representative denied the rumour to the Hollywood Reporter, however, saying he “had no intention to direct” the film and only “considered producing”.

The report also claimed that Scorsese departed his potential producer role on Joker to work on The Irishman. He remained somewhat involved with the project via his regular producing partner Emma Tillinger Koskoff, who was installed in a Joker producer role shortly after Scorsese’s exit.

Joker has been one of 2019’s most successful films, grossing over a billion dollars at the global box office.

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