Joker poster teases a direct connection to a Martin Scorsese movie

Joaquin Phoenix in the latest Joker poster. /Warner Bros. Pictures

The links between Todd Phillip’s upcoming Joker and Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy have made themselves apparent as the film inches closer to theaters, and only continue to grow as the latest poster seems to hit the referential nail directly on the head.

The poster (featuring the tagline “put on a happy face,” in reference to the song from Bye Bye Birdie) shows Joaquin Phoenix with his head thrown back, in full clown make-up, and sporting a suit that will look familiar to devotees of Scorsese’s film.

Robert De Niro as Rupert Pupkin in The King of Comedy. /20th Century Fox

If the similarities in plot — both films center upon would-be comedians who descend into madness — haven’t been enough to tie the two movies together, the visual cues make the connection more overt. The suit that Phoenix is seen wearing in the poster, as well as a particular red suit he’s been photographed wearing on set, seem to be direct homages to Pupkin.

The script was reported to have “ties” to The King of Comedy; the latest poster should dispel any doubts as to that being the case.

De Niro, sporting a red suit, in The King of Comedy. 20th Century Fox

The first teaser trailer for Joker will debut tomorrow. The film, which co-stars De Niro himself, is set to hit theaters on Oct. 4, 2019.

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