It has been reported that Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to play The Joker in Warner Bros. and Todd Phillips' forthcoming yet-to-be-titled character origin movie, but it seems there is another interested party.
Phillips has made it clear to the studio that Phoenix is his top choice for the character. But sources told Variety that Phoenix has already committed to the role.
Joaquin Phoenix is talented enough to produce a range of characters that go every which way but through his portrayal of the nefarious villain of Commodus in Gladiator, an intellectual savant and the guy that was loved to be hated we believe he is flawless for the role of The Joker.
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It just means that Phoenix will take on the character's role in this particular movie, which will allegedly fall under a new banner of DC Comics that will broaden the studio's opportunities to branch out with side storylines not included in its cinematic universe.
He was previously in talks to play Lex Luther in the catastrophe that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and was said to be in consideration to lead Doctor Strange (a role that went to Benedict Cumberbatch in the end) but the actor ended up turning down both superhero films.
The studio had tapped The Hangover director Todd Phillips past year to co-write a script with scribe Scott Silver.
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The Gladiator star, 43, is Phillips' top choice for the role in his DC movie, which will be produced by Martin Scorsese.
Leto is likely to reprise his role in Suicide Squad 2, but will not be featured in this film.
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. The as-yet-untitled project will assume the style of a crime drama as opposed to a typical comic book hero production.
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The Joker was most recently played by Jared Leto in Suicide Squad.