Actor Joaquin Phoenix attends the Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot premiere during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Theater on January 19, 2018 in Park City, Utah. (AFP/Angela Weiss)
An origin story about one of Gotham City’s biggest villains, the Joker, seems to have found its lead in American actor Joaquin Phoenix of 'The Gladiator' and Johnny Cash biopic 'Walk the Line'.
After Jack Nicholson ( 1989 ), Heath Ledger ( 2008 ) and now Jared Leto in 'Suicide Squad' ( 2016 ), Phoenix could be next in line to play the tortured and tortuous spirit.
Either way, he’s currently the number one choice of director Todd Phillips, best known for comedy movies like 'Road Trip', 'Old School' and 'The Hangover' trilogy, but who turned his hand to more serious fare, albeit with a comic twist, in gun-running biopic 'War Dogs'.
According to Variety, the actor who was Oscar-nominated for his performances as Emperor Commodus in 'Gladiator', country musician Johnny Cash in 'Walk the Line', and the leader of a fictional cult in 'The Master' has entered discussions with Warner Bros over the Joker Role.
The prequel is proposed as a standalone separate from the ongoing DC Extended Universe storyline, in which Jared Leto is expected to retain his Joker role from 'Suicide Squad'.
Leonardo DiCaprio was previously approached for the prequel; Warners had earlier expressed interest in bringing Phoenix into the DC universe when casting for Lex Luthor in 'Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice'.