Joaquin Phoenix could nab Joker role in standalone movie

Joaquin Phoenix could nab Joker role in standalone movie

Variety reports that talks are underway for Phoenix to play the Joker, while stressing that the two sides are not in the negotiation stage yet.

"Todd Phillips" Joker movie is apparently an origin tale for the iconic charcater. However, after a meeting with Phillips, Phoenix is said to have had time to mull the role over and has agreed to sign on.

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.

Leto is set to reprise the role in the Suicide Squad sequel as well as a a spin-off based on the relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn.

Warner Bros. wants to diversify its DC films, and developing stories unconnected to the DCEU frees these projects from the shackles of interconnected world-building, which hasn't gone well for the brand thus far (see: Justice League). The story is rumored to take place in the '80s and have more of the look of a gritty crime drama than comic-book movie.

There had been rumors that Leonardo DiCaprio would take on the role but the plan fell through. He was also in talks for Disney-Marvel's "Doctor Strange", but passed on that as well. Warner Bros. has not set a release date.

Todd Philips, who directed all three movies in "The Hangover" trilogy, is on board to direct. Philips also helmed films like "Road Trip" and "Old School", suggesting the as-yet-unnamed Joker movie will have a comedic bent.

Phoenix is one of the most talented actors working today and immediately brings a certain amount of intrigue to this wild idea.