It comes through the grapevine that Joaquin Phoenix is currently in talks to become the crime prince of Gotham in the upcoming untitled Joker origin movie.
According to a new report from Variety earlier today, negotiations have yet to begin with Warner Bros. but the actor has been personally picked out by director Todd Phillips as the top choice for the lead role.
Phoenix was apparently indecisive about the project at the start. He met with Phillips in December and took a bit of time to think it over before agreeing to the proposition. That being said, Phoenix as the Joker will only go forward if the upper echelons at the studio close out a deal.
It should be noted that the actor has a history of turning down major roles for movies in the superhero genre. He was asked by Marvel to play the Hulk in The Avengers and was approached again for the titular role of Doctor Strange. He was also the prime choice of DC to play Lex Luthor in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The Joker origin movie will be set outside of the DC Extended Universe. This means that Jared Leto, who became Joker in Suicide Squad and will be reprising the role in the upcoming sequel as well, will not be affected in any way.
There is still a lot that remains unknown about the standalone project for one of the most notorious supervillains in history. The script is currently being written by Scott Silver and will be produced by Martin Scorsese. There is no word on when fans can expect the movie to open in theaters. Taking into account the pace at which Warner Bros. is treating the project, it may take a couple of years or more.