Robert De Niro is reportedly set to play the title role in Martin Scorsese’s classic 1976 film Taxi Driver.
The 80-year-old actor will be back behind the wheel as Travis Bickle – or at least deliver some of his iconic lines – as he films a series of ads for Uber. The sun reported on Tuesday.
According to a source, De Niro will use the oft-quoted line “You talkin’ to me?” to repeat. as part of the advertisements.
DailyMail.com has contacted a representative for De Niro for comment.
The news follows recent forays into advertising that De Niro has recently made following several costly divorces and separations from the mothers of his seven children.
Old school: Robert De Niro, 80, will reprise his iconic Taxi Driver character in a new series of ads for Uber, The Sun reported on Tuesday; seen in May in Cannes, France
A classic: De Niro reportedly plays a version of taxi driver-turned-obsessive vigilante Travis Bickle. The 1976 film, directed by Martin Scorsese, is considered one of the best of all time
Taxi Driver is considered an important New York City film, but the Uber ads make a confusing choice to reportedly film in London.
A source said the commercial series was “a great idea” and added: “Taxi Driver is one of the most iconic films of all time.”
“But he will certainly get a kick out of it too,” they continued.
The source noted that De Niro exuded nostalgia for his star-making performances, although Taxi Driver is an unusually dark and violent film referenced in an advertisement.
“A lot of people feel like some of these classic films are his best work, and signing on for commercials has sold out a bit, but he’s clearly had a very expensive personal life,” the source said.
De Niro was previously one of the faces of British bakery brand Warburtons, which has also seen celebrity endorsements from George Clooney, Sylvester Stallone and most recently Samuel L. Jackson.
In 2019, the Oscar winner appeared in a campaign for the aptly named Kia Niro electric car, and also shot ads for Santander Bank and American Express.
The series of recent ads, previously a rarity for the actor, could help fund his expensive divorce from second wife Grace Hightower. He filed for divorce from the philanthropist in 2018 after getting married in 1997.
The two had to sell their $20 million home, and De Niro’s alimony settlement requires him to pay her $1 million a year until one of them dies or she remarries.
Paying off his debts: “A lot of people feel like some of these classic films are his best work, and commercial sign-ups are a bit of a sellout, but he’s clearly had a very expensive personal life,” the source said; seen in June in NYC
Alimony checks: De Niro has made several ads in recent years following his expensive divorce from Grace Hightower in 2018 and the separation of his children’s mothers. He welcomed his seventh child with partner Tiffany Chen (pictured together in May in Cap D’Antibes, France)
Quotable: The source said De Niro’s iconic “You talkin’ to me?” phrase Bickle uses as he blows himself up in front of a mirror and shows off his newly acquired pistols
In 2021, his lawyer claimed that the legendary Raging Bull star was forced to take on virtually every role that came his way to pay for his ex’s divorce costs and alimony payments, which could also explain the recent wave of commercials.
The source noted that De Niro will play “Travis Bickle,” his character from Taxi Driver, and will “say some phrases and perform to them.”
They added: ‘His previous advertisements have shown that he has no problem making fun of himself.’
It’s possible he uses some of the character’s key phrases without necessarily playing the same Travis Bickle, who kills three mafia-connected men after becoming obsessed with a 12-year-old girl named Iris, who is trafficked into prostitution through sex traded. before trying to shoot himself in the head to no avail.
Bickle also shoots and kills a man who tries to rob a convenience store earlier in the film.
Although the character appears to escape any criminal charges for the bloody murders, he is not treated as a hero and is instead presented as a dangerous and obsessive loner on the fringes of society.
The film also details another obsessive relationship with a woman, this time with a campaign worker (played by Cybill Shepherd) for a fictional presidential candidate.
When she rejects his stupid advances, he goes over the edge and tries to kill the presidential candidate before finally deciding to “liberate” the sex-trafficked child.
Going Dark: Although he is rumored to be playing Travis Bickle, he may simply be adapting the character’s famous lines. Bickle murdered four people in the film, became obsessed with a 12-year-old sex-trafficking girl, and tried to kill a presidential candidate to get revenge on a lover who rejected him in the film.
Tough Subject: In Taxi Driver, Cybill Shepherd played a campaign worker who rejects Bickle’s disturbing advances before setting his sights on underage prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster).
The film was a major critical and commercial success and is considered one of the best films of the 1970s and of all time.
The film, written by Paul Schrader, was the second collaboration between De Niro and director Martin Scorsese, who would collaborate several times on films such as Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino and Cape Fear.
Their most recent reunions, separated after decades, were in the critically acclaimed mafia drama The Irishman and in the upcoming film Killers Of The Flower Moon, based on the non-fiction book of the same name about an indigenous tribe systematically murdered by white members of the community hoping to steal oil revenues from the reservations.
Insiders added that Uber hopes to book other celebrities to appear as passengers in the ads, although it is unclear whether they would star with De Niro or do their own commercials.