Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to play the lead in an upcoming Joker origin movie, being written and directed by Todd Phillips.

According to Variety, negotiations with Warner Bros. are not yet underway but Phillips has made it clear Phoenix is his top choice for the role and according to sources, Phoenix has agreed to come on board.

The pair reportedly met last year and are just waiting for the green light from the studio.

The film is set to fall under a new yet-to-be-announced banner under DC Comics, in which the studio plans to expand on the characters' stories outside of the current cinematic universe.


In the current universe, Jared Leto - who played the villain in Suicide Squad - remains on board as the Joker and looks likely to reprise the role in Suicide Squad 2.

Phillips' film on the other hand, will dive deeper into the Joker's past and how he became the criminal mastermind fans know and love (to hate). According to Variety's sources, the story will take place in the '80s and be less comic-movie and more "gritty crime drama".

This is a case of third time's the charm for Phoenix who has turned down two previous comic book roles in the past.

He passed on playing Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which went to Jesse Eisenberg) and on starring in Disney-Marvel's Doctor Strange.