Joaquin Phoenix in talks to play The Joker in Todd Phillips' DC movie
The search for the next actor to take on the role of The Joker might be over, with Variety reporting that Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to play the Crown Prince of Crime in an upcoming origin story movie directed by Todd Phillips.
Phillips and 8 Mile screenwriter Scott Silver have been working on a script for a new film about Batman's nemesis since last year when the project was announced, the idea being an origin story for The Joker that sits outside the continuity of recent DC films such as Suicide Squad, in which the role was tackled by Jared Leto. However, Variety's sources say that this doesn't affect Leto's involvement and although his role in the upcoming Suicide Squad sequel is yet to be confirmed, it still seems likely he will return for a second outing.
According to the reports, Phillips' new film is envisioned as a more gritty take on the character and is likely to be a crime story set in the 1980s. At one point there were even rumours that Martin Scorsese might be involved as a producer, but the new reports don't confirm anything on this front.
No release date has been mooted as yet, but the film is reportedly viewed as the first instalment in an as-yet unannounced new series of DC movies that would involve new story arcs which are separate from the current DC Cinematic Universe.
Phoenix had previously been in the frame to play Lex Luthor in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice before the role eventually went to Jesse Eisenberg, but while he has yet to agree to tackle the role of The Joker in the new film, the reports suggest that the studio has signed off on Phillips' choice of actor and that negotiations are ongoing, so watch this space...