Martin Scorsese: 'I didn't have time to direct Joker'

The Oscar-winning filmmaker recently criticised Marvel movies.

Martin Scorsese turned down the chance to direct Joaquin Phoenix in Joker because he didn't "have time".

In a new interview, the Oscar-winning movie legend admitted he toyed with the idea of stepping behind the camera for the film about the birth of Batman's nemesis, but eventually decided to step aside and let Todd Phillips take over.

"I know the film very well," Scorsese told the BBC. "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 (in) Joaquin, you have remarkable work."

Scorsese also made it clear he wasn't about to make a movie about a comic book character and questioned his own ability to be able to make a huge blockbuster action movie.

"Ultimately, I don't know if I have the ability to take the next step, which is this character developing into a comic book character. He (Joker) develops into an abstraction. It doesn't mean it's bad art, it's just not for me...," the filmmaker explained. "The superhero films, as I've said, are another art form.

"They are not easy to make. There's a lot of very talented people doing good work and a lot of young people really, really enjoy them. But I do think it's more of an extension of an amusement park."

Joker, which also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy, was released last month. While Phoenix won praise for his performance, critics have been divided over the handling of violence and the portrayal of mental illness.

At present, Scorsese is promoting his latest project, crime film The Irishman.

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