WB and DC have decided who’ll play their iconic Joker character in a new standalone movie exploring his origin story.
The studio is reportedly closing in on actor Joaquin Phoenix for the role. According to Variety, Phoenix has agreed to the gig and negotiations are currently taking place.
This doesn’t mean Leto’s Joker is being replaced. While Leto and Phoenix are playing the same character, the two will play the clown in different parts of his timeline. According to Variety, “The [Phoenix] 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.”
The studio has been working on a Joker spinoff since last August. Though Suicide Squad wasn’t a critical hit, the Joker is still an adored villain. The version of the character played by Heath Ledger received rave reviews, so Phoenix will have big shoes to fill.
Phoenix is best known in recent years for his Oscar winning film Her. He’ll star in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot later this year for Gus Van Sant.