Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly gearing up to play The Joker in a new origin story for Warner Bros.
Variety reports that the Inherent Vice star has entered talks to lead the untitled Joker origin movie co-written and directed by Todd Phillips, the filmmaker behind War Dogs and The Hangover trilogy. Per the trade, Phoenix was Phillips’ top choice to star and after thinking it over, the actor has agreed to the role. Although now studio negotiations must begin, so this is far from a done deal.
The movie would fall under a yet-to-be-announced new banner of DC Comics, which would give the studio the opportunity to expand the canon of the iconic comic-book characters with unique story angles that aren’t included in its current cinematic universe. Jared Leto most recently played the Joker in “Suicide Squad” and is likely to reprise that role in “Suicide Squad 2,” but will not be featured in this film. Rumors circulated that Leonardo DiCaprio was the first person approached to star in Phillips’ standalone film, though that didn’t pan out.
The film will reportedly take place in an ’80s, gritty version of Gotham City and explore how The Joker became a criminal mastermind. Warner Bros. has not set a release date.