This Is How Robert De Niro Actually Feels About The Joker Controversy

  • Published: 03 October 2019
  • Robert De Niro has some things to say about the things other people are saying about his new movie.

    We're talking of course of Todd Phillips' Joker, the controversial new film from Warner Brothers and DC in which De Niro appears in a major supporting role.

    Over the course of his decades-long career in cinema, De Niro has played everything from hard-nosed gangsters and bullish boxers to overprotective fathers and emotionally damaged war vets. He even threw down against a certain moose and squirrel duo in a kid-friendly comedy.

    This year, De Niro is charging right back into the "for your consideration" fray with the raw and gritty Joker. While the dark take on the Clown Prince of Crime seems primed to set the box office on fire, Joker has also found itself wrapped up in some surprising controversy.

    The contention surrounds the rampant gun violence that plays a part in Joker's story, with violence and firearms tending to accompany the Joker character in whatever form he takes.

    The perceived content of the movie has inspired some family members of the victims of the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, which tragically unfolded during a screening of Warner Bros. The Dark Knight Rises, to pen a heartfelt letter to the studio prior to Joker's release. They say they're concerned that Joker may inadvertently inspire copycat acts of violence.

    The group further urged the studio to lobby for gun reform, cease their support of public figures who advocate for gun rights, and to consider throwing more support behind groups who help the victims of gun violence.

    That letter has left Joker's director, cast, and studio in the hot seat as they've been promoting the movie ahead of its October 4th release. In the last week alone, Phillips, Phoenix, and Warner Bros. have all opened up with their own particular views regarding the matter.

    And now, chatting to Variety during the red carpet event for another of his upcoming films, The Irishman, Robert De Niro finally offered his own take on the Joker controversy.

    De Niro's words about the Joker controversy will hardly come as a surprise to folks who have followed his work in recent years. The actor's unflinching political perspectives and open criticisms of the American government, and especially President Donald Trump, have made him a target of politicians and other people who stand on the opposing side of those views.

    Needless to say, it's probably a good thing that he wasn't quite so frank in response to the Joker controversy as he's been about other topics. De Niro wisely didn't use the moment to grandstand or stump for his own views, instead simply offering his own support of the Aurora families and their worries.

    As for the current controversy, the Joker, despite always being shown as a homicidal maniac, seems to inspire a sort of idol worship mentality amongst his fans. The character's rock-star-like aura seemed to reach a new level with Heath Ledger's unforgettable turn as the clown in 2008's The Dark Knight.

    While the connections between that film and the actions of the Aurora shooter remain tenuous, many still believe the Joker served as inspiration for the violent act. As such, some also believe this new take on the character may be dangerously provocative.

    On the other hand, plenty of people see no reason to worry about Joker at all, seeing it as just another edgy comic book movie, so this may go down as a case of much ado about nothing. There doesn't appear to be any movement to stop Joker from being released, and the Aurora families haven't called for a boycott of the film. They simply argue that if Warner Bros. is going to profit off fictional gun violence, they would do well to treat the victims of real gun violence with consideration and support.

    Warner Bros. remains steadfast that Joker in no way attempts to portray Joker as a heroic figure. Amidst the controversy, the studio is urging people to withhold judgement until they've actually seen the film, with a spokesperson recently offering, quote, "A lot has been said about Joker, and we just feel it's time for people to see the film."

    As for De Niro, aside from the controversy, he's had nothing but positive things to say about his experiences on Joker.

    With any luck, the energy surrounding Joker will remain similarly positive, and the film will arrive with little more than a heady dose of entertainment value, a dash of societal insight, and a stream of awards season success. But of course, we won't get a real sense of how Joker plays until the film hits theaters on October 4th. Here's hoping there are happy faces all around.

    #RobertDeNiro #Joker #Actors
  • Entertainment Entertainment

Comments • 3 441

  • Looper
    Looper   2 weeks back

    Are you worried about the new Joker movie causing violence?

    • Гавран
      Гавран  3 hours back

      Why not? Joker say all true in movie. Nothing more.

    • Crazy Grayson87
      Crazy Grayson87  4 hours back

      Why would I he he he ha ha ha ha haaaaaa

    • Casey Bledsoe
      Casey Bledsoe  4 hours back

      Did John Wick cause violence?

    • The Wild King
      The Wild King  6 hours back

      Alex Brook its rated R so kids shouldn’t be watching it...

    • The Wild King
      The Wild King  6 hours back

      Looper no im not worried because its not gonna happen

  • Pakababy
    Pakababy  5 minutes back

    To me, there is so much violence in movies and on tv, it seems unfair to choose this movie (which was excellent, by the way) as the scapegoat for violence retribution, just because the Batman movie was playing during Aurora shootings.

    • X, Blackwell
      X, Blackwell  31 minutes back

      if a movie can make you violent I'll assume you had bigger deeper problems prior too.... this was a great psychological thriller that unpacks the mind of an old classic COMIC BOOK villain!!!

      With all the BIG special effects in super hero movies, this film reminded me of the classic "Taxi Driver" with De Niro, another excellent film which was much more real as De Niro in Taxi was actually political and based on a normal person, not a fictional character - this was an excellent film!

      • Kevin rodriguez
        Kevin rodriguez  49 minutes back

        Man it's just a movie , people r just stupid to be honest

        • LouistheHedgehog
          LouistheHedgehog  1 hours back

          This movie doesn't cause violence, it shows where it comes from.

          • Publius Maximus Manlius

            Joker was soo good.

            • Shendue
              Shendue  2 hours back

              I can understand the mother of a victim, but everyone who isn't emotionally involved and is in his right mind should be able to understand that murders don't happen because of movies.
              It's not like I go to see The Matrix and then go out and feel like beating up someone.
              Actually, it's quite the contrary, as psychological tests proved again and again that fictional violence actually diminishes actual violence, because it gives the viewer a mean to discharge his negative pulsions in an innocuous way.
              If someone sees the Joker and then decides to dress up as the character and shoot someone, the same person would have dressed up as Santa and killed someone with a saw if you showed him a movie about Santa making toys. Deranged minds are deranged minds, for reasons more complex than watching a movie.

              • Vladimir Makarov
                Vladimir Makarov  2 hours back

                Geez, what a load of crap.

                • Гавран
                  Гавран  3 hours back

                  I watch movie and i give them 4- (1-5). Because Joker do and say true in movie because is true in our life. I only can been aganst Joker and this movie if i ame like Thomas Wayne or people who have all in this life and no need society to live. Maybe one of those with a vol street. Think abouts if you can't then replaced with a beggar or one rejected by society and the people.

                  • Lucy B
                    Lucy B  3 hours back

                    Those who take issue with this film are triggered by the evils within themselves, The Joker is to real and confronting, if you suffer enough abuse in your life then you have the potential to become criminally sociopathic if you never get treatment early and you still suffer abuse.

                    It’s a downward spiral.

                    • Casey Bledsoe
                      Casey Bledsoe  4 hours back

                      The film is only contraversal to those who are called out by it. The media and those who stomp on the little man.
                      If they were worried about gun violence in a film they would have protested John Wick.

                      • RealiableCandy4
                        RealiableCandy4  5 hours back

                        Ok bois, where are the cinema shootings? Are we all mentally sane?

                        • Caster Troy
                          Caster Troy  7 hours back

                          This is a great movie. Its does an amazing job at truly highlighting mental illness. The gun violence is what the media is using for ratings. If we control some of the mental illness related issues around guns. Just maybe the violence will reduce with it. I hate sounding political. We all know the performance by Phoenix as a person suffering from mental illnesses is truly why this film may be D.C. 's best yet.

                          • VAIBHAV SINGH
                            VAIBHAV SINGH  8 hours back

                            It's not about the gun Violence and blah blah
                            It's about the positive messages this movie gave ...comon be a little optimistic media. What the hell do you want?

                            • Explore Greer
                              Explore Greer  11 hours back

                              Much a do about nothing. Terminator, Gemini man has more violence and a poor story line. Joker comes with real issues.

                              • Hayden Ellis
                                Hayden Ellis  12 hours back

                                People are more concerned about fictional villains than real ones.

                                • Veda C
                                  Veda C  13 hours back

                                  This chicks voice 🤮

                                  • The Centrist
                                    The Centrist  14 hours back

                                    The media wants people dead so they can get a story out of it and increase their profits. There, I just told you off.

                                    • The Centrist
                                      The Centrist  14 hours back

                                      This movie made me more empathetic towards those struggling with mental illness. I didn't know spontaneous, uncontrollable laughter was a condition.

                                      • Frankie Dog Turner
                                        Frankie Dog Turner  15 hours back

                                        De Niro is basically a total moron.

                                        • Dikki Exmakina
                                          Dikki Exmakina  15 hours back

                                          Too much paranoia over a movie.

                                          • Michael Ivanov
                                            Michael Ivanov  19 hours back


                                            • trilla dilla
                                              trilla dilla  21 hours back

                                              John Wick, 2 hours of straight murder. Not one person talked about gun violence.

                                              • Prezton Vlogz
                                                Prezton Vlogz  22 hours back

                                                Are you saying he's criticizing a movie he's in?

                                                • JustMe
                                                  JustMe  22 hours back

                                                  Robert DeNiro is a pedophile

                                                  • Dominic Crimmings
                                                    Dominic Crimmings  22 hours back

                                                    To the Aurora families, let's get something straight here: There are and have been numerous (and I mean over-numerous) gun violence episodes since that day. I did not hear any of you making any noises for any of those. The only connection between the shootings at that Batman film in 2008 and The Joker is that it's a DC / Joker movie. Why are you now jumping on a film and trying to connect it to what happened in Aurora over a decade ago?

                                                    I see what you're doing: There was a gun involved in the Aurora shootings. There is a gun in the new Joker film. There are a million guns in the John Wick films. I hear you say nothing. Oh, it's because just as it happens, the shootings in Aurora happened to happen at a cinema when Batman was showing. Well, Starbucks was also serving coffee at that time, McD's was also serving burgers, gas stations were also pumping gas - I don't see you jumping on those.

                                                    It's an excuse and you should be ashamed for trying to bring up old wounds just because you see very tenuous links between a gun and a film. It's actually disgusting and you're putting the director / actors of this very very good film in an awkward position asking if the violence is warranted just because some psycho decided to go out with a gun when a Batman film happened to be on at the cinema. And just for record, Joker is not a a batman film - he's not in it.

                                                    And lastly, given you live in the US where guns are pretty much as prevalent as burgers, if you really don't like guns, then vote to get them outlawed and revoke the amendment that gives your citizens the ability to wield one so freely. You have a voice, but you're aiming it in the wrong direction (pardon the pun, not really).

                                                    • Aylmer Johnson
                                                      Aylmer Johnson  22 hours back

                                                      And why Dose John Wick or Atomic Blond movies get a Free Pass???

                                                      • Patrick
                                                        Patrick  23 hours back

                                                        D.C. should stick to villain origin stories.

                                                        • brado jacko
                                                          brado jacko  23 hours back

                                                          Hi, my name is Rob D. I criticize and throw public tantrums and tirades over things unless they make me money and fame. Then, I keep my mouth shut.
                                                          I love telling america what and how to think while obliviously making films about how this controlling elitist behavior destroys society.
                                                          I still dont get the joke.
                                                          I am an actor.

                                                          • Max Hardison
                                                            Max Hardison  24 hours back

                                                            This is bull$***. Some of the families of the dark Knight victims are unfortunately using their situations to push political agendas. This movie doesn't even glamorize gun violence. They say they want a studio profiting off gun violence to support victims huh? Where were these people when John wick came out? How about Dunkirk? Any star wars film? WW2 documentaries? No where. The only connection that exists is that joker is a part of the Batman universe but it was officially confirmed there was zero evidence the shooter was inspired by the joker. Either way, it is not a movie studio's job to only show viewers what is right. People are supposed to teach their own children that. If you aren't an adult who can deal with adult themes, don't watch an R rated film.

                                                            • OC Vegas Property
                                                              OC Vegas Property  24 hours back

                                                              Deniro is a hypocrite

                                                              • Shawn Penny
                                                                Shawn Penny  1 days back

                                                                Please there are four gun murders and two are self defense. John Wick is far more violent. The body count in one John Wick or Rambo movie makes this look like a peace movie. Sensational garbage from a media that wanted a shooting at one of these movies so they could get ratings.

                                                                • George Smith
                                                                  George Smith  1 days back

                                                                  Omg have you seen John wick .... saving private Ryan .....the freaking Saprano’s.. this movie has less gun violence then Indiana people need to get a real life.... what’s more disturbing ,people screaming about gun violence and causing panic in the streets or a fictional movie that any adult can tell that it IS a fictional movie... I’m gonna go with the first one.. news media causing panic and getting people riled up for no reasons but to get ratings for their news channel ..they should be ashamed of themselves... if you people would just stop and look at what your smelling you would realize it’s crap the media doing for ratings... nothing more...

                                                                  • Tonya Johnson
                                                                    Tonya Johnson  1 days back

                                                                    You can’t blame guns, video games, tv, movies, books... It’s the individual.. The one who makes the decision to do the unthinkable. If there were no guns there are individuals who would use other ways to kill. I enjoyed the movie very much.. That’s the point.. Its only a movie.

                                                                    • Ken Stentiford
                                                                      Ken Stentiford  1 days back

                                                                      I've seen the movie twice; and will buy it on DVD asap, the movie is a masterpiece on so many levels.
                                                                      Oscar shoe in.

                                                                      • lalaman629
                                                                        lalaman629  1 days back

                                                                        so ive seen war movies does that mean I need to go and kill or?

                                                                        • whatryouthinking
                                                                          whatryouthinking  1 days back

                                                                          gun violence in this movie? lol
                                                                          have you not seen john wick 3?? joker was great movie stop being bitches

                                                                          • The Saint
                                                                            The Saint  1 days back

                                                                            It's a fucking FILM/MOVIE if somebody does something it's their own fucking fault and actions.

                                                                            • HALLOWEEN KILLS
                                                                              HALLOWEEN KILLS  1 days back

                                                                              I've watched Halloween at least 1000 times......never killed a babysitter?

                                                                              • I Want The Sweet Release Of Death

                                                                                Robert is a great guy and all but the fact that he threatened to punch Donald Trump is ridiculous and disgusting.

                                                                                • Matthew Donaldson
                                                                                  Matthew Donaldson  1 days back

                                                                                  What I don’t quite understand completely is why people keep saying how dark this movie is, like idk man I’ve seen some fucked up shit in plenty of other films. There’s like what maybe ten people get killed in this movie? I understand that’s it’s dark and all but it’s not as bad as people claim unless you consider that maybe it makes people feel guilty because they know that they’d be the ones to cause someone like Arthur to go over the edge or whatever but like it’s not that bad of a film, but it a masterpiece and has such weight to it emotionally. And it shows how messed up we are as a society and while the media and government tries to blame movies, music, and video games for violence it’s really just people who are screwed up in the head and tired of being treated like shit.

                                                                                  • Ablack Attack
                                                                                    Ablack Attack  1 days back

                                                                                    Robert doesn’t have any issues getting money from the movies...guess it isn’t as bad as everyone on a particular side is trying to make it seem like

                                                                                    • Ethan Hindley-Rivera
                                                                                      Ethan Hindley-Rivera  1 days back

                                                                                      Wanna hear another joke murray?

                                                                                      • RebelOfTheNorm242
                                                                                        RebelOfTheNorm242  1 days back

                                                                                        “And you know what they say about’s fear”
                                                                                        -Joker 2008

                                                                                        • Fabrizio Riva
                                                                                          Fabrizio Riva  1 days back

                                                                                          I wanted to listen to De Niro, not about something that involves De Niro

                                                                                          • ChubbyChecker182
                                                                                            ChubbyChecker182  1 days back

                                                                                            October 2019... The Re Birth of De Niro.

                                                                                            Good to see him in two Great movies, Joker and The Irishman.

                                                                                            • Timothy Weinand
                                                                                              Timothy Weinand  1 days back

                                                                                              Robert Deniro is a pedophile and a satanic worshipper .
                                                                                              He’s sick and twisted and evil .
                                                                                              The joker movie was powerful and important

                                                                                              • John Stratton
                                                                                                John Stratton  1 days back

                                                                                                Man fukall theez whiney fux
                                                                                                Burnniss bich down
                                                                                                Send in the muffukin clown