Joaquin Phoenix in Talks to Play The Joker in Standalone Origin Film

Joaquin Phoenix in Talks to Play the Joker in Todd Phillips' Standalone Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

It's still widely believed that Jared Leto will continue to play the DCEU Joker and that this Joker movie would stand apart and that's no bad thing.

The latest juicy tidbit comes out of Variety, which reports that Phoenix is director Todd Phillips' first choice for the role of the Joker, and that after some talks, Phoenix has tenatively agreed to star in the film as the Clown Prince of Crime.

Well, this sounds just about ideal: Joaquin Phoenix ... as The Joker.

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The film will explore the character's time in Gotham as he becomes a supervillain.

In the wake of a troubling roll-out for their extended universe, including the poorly received "Justice League" and "Suicide Squad", and the massive success of "Wonder Woman", Vulture reported past year that DC and Warner Bros. were rethinking their approach to the films.

"Todd Phillips" Joker movie is apparently an origin tale for the iconic charcater. Leonardo DiCaprio, a frequent collaborator with Scorsese, was originally rumored to be eyed for the role. The 43-year-old Her actor would be joining the character's origin movie at DC helmed by Hangover creator Tod Phillips who will also help write the screenplay. Sources told Variety the movie will be set in the 1980s and will play more like a straight crime drama than a flashy superhero film. In fairness, the Joker has obviously earned other great performers a trophy nod (Jack Nicholson snagged a Golden Globe nomination for Tim Burton's Batman), and even a posthumous Supporting Actor win (Heath Ledger for Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight). Phoenix has previously passed on playing both Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the titular role of Doctor Strange.

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