Martin Scorsese had a very busy 2019 due to his commitment to The Irishman. However, he did find some time to discuss Joker with Todd Phillips. The legendary director was originally going to be a producer on the movie, but he had to bow out because of The Irishman. Phillips has said in the past that Scorsese was an uncredited advisor before the production started on this character study of the Clown Prince of Crime. Scorsese's long-time producing partner Emma Tillinger Koskoff ended up taking over.
Joker defied expectations and earned over $1 billion at the global box office. Todd Phillips has admitted that Martin Scorsese was the inspiration behind the movie, which is easy to see from watching even a little bit of it. With that being said, Scorsese has been asked about Joker a lot too, but he actually hasn't even seen it yet. Martin Scorsese had this to say when recently asked about it.
"I saw clips of it. I know it. So it's like, why do I need to? I get it. It's fine."
Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy are some of the major touchstones for Joker. Todd Phillips did his own thing with his inspiration, but the influence is obvious. As for not seeing the movie yet, Scorsese just doesn't seem to be into the comic book genre as a whole, which got him into some social media hot water earlier this year when he claimed that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was not "cinema." Regardless, though Arthur Fleck is based on one of the most iconic comic book villains of all time, the movie does its best to stay away from the normal genre tropes.
Joker is a dark character study about a man slowly losing his grip on reality. It has a more organic approach than what DC and Warner Bros. have been putting out lately, and the same can be said about Marvel Studios. Maybe Martin Scorsese was too close to the production and doesn't feel like he needs to see the movie because he helped develop it. At this point, we really don't know his true motive behind not seeing a movie that Todd Phillips basically made as a tribute to him.
Joker has already influenced where the studios will be taking their comic book movies from this point on. Marvel's Venom 2 is aiming for an R-rating, while DC's Birds of Prey be an R-rated affair. James Gunn is currently working on The Suicide Squad, which could very well come with an R-rating too. However, it's not just the rating that helped Todd Phillips and Joker. It's the story, which was dark and complex, that helped fuel the movie's success. Whatever the case may be, Martin Scorsese apparently has no interest in seeing it any time soon. The interview with Scorsese was originally conducted by The New York Times.