Joaquin Phoenix in Talks to Play The Joker in Standalone Origin Film

Joaquin Phoenix in Talks to Play the Joker in Todd Phillips's Standalone DC Movie

As if a "Venom" movie without Spider-Man weren't weird enough, DC and Warner Bros. are gearing up for a Joker standalone movie - and Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to star as the Clown Prince of Crime.

This film is framed as part of an unnamed new banner within Warner Bros' DC Films division that are out-of-continuity with its primary DC Extended Universe stories - such as Justice League or, in this case, Suicide Squad.

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WB hasn't commented on the reports yet.

Scott Silver is joining Todd Phillips as a co-writer on the film, which will dive into the Joker's backstory and the circumstances that led him to become a mastermind criminal.

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"Todd Phillips" Joker movie is apparently an origin tale for the iconic charcater.

Phoenix comes to the role that was previously rumored to be Leonardo DiCaprio's. Two different film Jokers is only a small step beyond that, and Phoenix would no doubt provide his own unique but twisted interpretation to go into a pantheon that already includes showstopping performances by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. Sources told Variety the movie will be set in the 1980s and will play more like a straight crime drama than a flashy superhero film.

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In the current universe, Jared Leto - who played the villain in Suicide Squad - remains on board as the Joker and looks likely to reprise the role in Suicide Squad 2. For his work as an actor, Phoenix has received a Grammy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and has three Academy Award and British Academy Film Award nominations. One report last fall claimed the actor was perturbed when Warner Bros. began shopping for a new actor for the role.

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