Joaquin Phoenix in talks to star in Joker origin movie

Joaquin Phoenix The Joker DC Comics

IGN previously confirmed that Jared Leto, who played The Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad, would not be reprising his role for Phillips' project.

Warner Bros. has commissioned Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy, Old School) to create a Joker origin movie, which will reportedly by unattached to the continuity of the DC movie universe, including the maligned Suicide Squad franchise. And one that looks poised to star Joaquin Phoenix, one of the most enigmatic but fascinating character actors working today. Initial reports indicated that Phillips movie would be executive produced by Martin Scorsese.

The studio announced their plans to launch a separate, standalone universe in August, offering filmmakers the opportunity to make films based on DC Comics that weren't tethered to the shared DC Cinematic Universe, home to films like Wonder Woman and Justice League.

The as-yet-untitled film will take place outside the current DC movieverse.

It's instead to be a prequel, a Joker origin story that will supposedly be a gritty '80s crime film.

More news: Media Stocks Battered as Dow Sees Worst Showing in 20 Months

Scott Silver will join Phillips as a co-writer on the film, which will delve into what it took for the Joker to become a mastermind criminal.

According to sources at Variety, the Oscar-nominated actor was the top choice for the role with some stating that he has already signed on but Warner Bros has not yet provided confirmation.

Phoenix, for what it's worth, has been approached for comic book roles before. However, WB has not confirmed it as such, and there was once a time when Phoenix was in talks to play Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange, so don't take it as a done deal.

He was nearly Doctor Strange, to the point where there were rumors he was going to be announced at SDCC until both parties went other directions.

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