Joaquin Phoenix to play Joker in origin movie?
Negotiations are underway and the actor is director Todd Phillips's top choice to play the character
Three-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to play the Joker in Warner Bros and Todd Phillips' untitled Joker origin movie.
While studio negotiations are not yet underway, Phillips has made it clear that Phoenix is the top choice to star in the film. Phillips, who is on board to co-write and direct the film, met with Phoenix before the new year and was just waiting for the studio's go-ahead, according to a source.
Jared Leto, who starred in Suicide Squad as the Joker is still on board as the character in the DC universe, and Phoenix's character has no effect on what happens with Leto's character in future DC films.
The film falls 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.
Leto is likely to reprise his role in Suicide Squad 2, but will not be featured in this film.
Rumours have it that Leonardo DiCaprio was the first person approached to star in Phillips' standalone film, though that didn't pan out.
Scott Silver will join Phillips as a co-writer on the film, which will delve into what it took for the Joker to become a criminal mastermind. The plot of the movie will be set in the 1980s and have more of the look of a gritty crime drama than comic-book movie.
Incidentally, Phoenix was considered for another villainous DC role in the past: Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but he passed on that role, which ultimately went to Jesse Eisenberg.