Variety has reported that Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Inherent Vice, The Master) is being considered for the role of the Joker in Todd Phillips’ Untitled Joker Origin Movie, a standalone. Sources say that it’s a done deal, but Warner Bros. hasn’t confirmed or denied the casting yet.
This movie will exist in the category of a DC Comics film and is considered separate from the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) series of films that began with Man of Steel and most recently saw the release of Justice League. That means that Jared Leto, who currently plays the Joker in the DCEU (you may have seen his introduction in Suicide Squad), won’t be out of a job by not being cast as the lead in Phillips’ origin story. Leto will most likely return as the Joker in Suicide Squad 2, though his involvement isn’t confirmed at the moment.
Todd Phillips’ (War Dogs, The Hangover trilogy) Untitled Joker Origin Movie will focus on how the Joker turned into the lovable lunatic clown that loves to torment Batman. Scott Silver (The Fighter, The Finest Hours, 8 Mile) will write the screenplay, along with Phillips. The movie is rumored to take place in the 1980’s and have a gritty, realistic tone as opposed to something like this that could be imitated but never truly outclassed.
Joaquin Phoenix will next be seen as Jesus (no, really) in Mary Magdalene, which stars Rooney Mara as the title character. He will also star in Gus Van Sant‘s new film Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot. After that, he’s poised to star alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in The Sisters Brothers, where an 1850’s gold prospector is chased by an infamous pair of assassins.
Phoenix clearly has the chops to play in intense character like the Joker, and if this casting news pans out it will be fascinating to see his take on this iconic character. Who was your favorite Joker, and how do you feel about the possibility of Joaquin taking on the challenge of a Joker origin story? Let us know in the comments!