In addition to DC Films’ shared universe, Warner Bros. is developing a slate of standalone movies that exist in their own continuity. (Think the Elseworld banner, but for the films.) First up is a movie chronicling Joker’s origin story, co-written and directed by Todd Phillips and possibly produced by Martin Scorsese. The film is set in 1980s Gotham City, and it is expected to look more like a gritty crime drama than a comic book movie.
Now, the movie may have its Joker, and it’s a big one. According to Variety, Joaquin Phoenix has entered talks to star in the Joker film. While studio negotiations aren’t underway yet, Phoenix is Phillips’ top choice for the role, and Phoenix has agreed to it. They just have to sign a proper deal. The Wrap adds that in addition to Phoenix, Phillips has met “multiple times” with Leonardo DiCaprio, another rumored contender.
This is far from the first time Phoenix has been attached to a comic book role. He was rumored to play Bruce Banner in The Avengers, he was considered for Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and he entertained the idea of playing Doctor Strange. So, there’s absolutely no guarantee that he’s actually going to play Joker, especially since a deal is far from finished.
But even if Phoenix doesn’t sign on, it shows the level of ambition WB has for this movie. It was said before that WB hopes to attract people who typically don’t do comic book movies, and Phoenix has been reluctant to join the genre. Fingers crossed this one will come together.
Stay tuned for more news as we have it.
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