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Joaquin Phoenix May Be The Next Joker

Though he’s been linked to other comic book villain roles in the past, this would be a big first for Phoenix.
Joaquin Phoenix The Master
By  · Published on February 8th, 2018

Though he’s been linked to other comic book villain roles in the past, this would be a big first for Phoenix.

Remember the Todd Phillips-directed, Martin Scorsese produced standalone Joker movie? When it was announced in August of last year, we were all pretty stunned by its existence.

Today it gets a bit weirder, as Variety is reporting that Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to play The Joker. According to the report, negotiations with Warner Bros. have not begun, but Phillips has made it known that Phoenix is his first choice to play the Clown Prince of Crime.

Here’s the really interesting part:

“The movie would fall 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. Jared Leto most recently played the Joker in “Suicide Squad” and is likely to reprise that role in “Suicide Squad 2,” but will not be featured in this film. Rumors circulated that Leonardo DiCaprio was the first person approached to star in Phillips’ standalone film, though that didn’t pan out.”

The entire notion of this “new banner” of DC Comics continues to be fascinating as Warner Bros. appears to be very quickly moving away from what Zack Snyder was doing in his run up to Justice League. What they appear to be doing is opening things up for different directors to come in and deliver their own unique visions for characters in an unconnected, expanding universe of films.

As to the Phillips film, it’s said to be set in the 1980s and will be more along the lines of “gritty crime drama” than comic book movie. Whatever that means. (It means they’re still trying to recapture that Christopher Nolan magic.)

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)