Joaquin Phoenix in talks to star in Joker origin movie

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Academy Award victor Jared Leto, who played the Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad and will reprise the role in a sequel and a spinoff alongside Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, was reportedly upset with Warner Bros. for seeking out other Jokers.

Jared Leto was the last main to play Batman's main adversary and he's set to be followed by Joaquin Phoenix according to reports, although the new film will exist in a separate timeline to DC's cinematic universe.

Nearly a month to the day since the Jim Gordon actor told TooFab at the 7th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts International Awards that he'd "like to see someone like Joaquin Phoenix play" Batman next, it turns out the actor is in talks to join the Batman cinematic universe. Phillips is set to co-write and direct the film.

Warner Bros. wants to diversify its DC films, and developing stories unconnected to the DCEU frees these projects from the shackles of interconnected world-building, which hasn't gone well for the brand thus far (see: Justice League). Warner Bros had no comment on the news.

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The film, which takes place in the 80's and is pitched as a gritty crime drama, will be the first project in the yet to be named "out of continuity/Elseworlds" banner of DC Films.

This is a case of third time's the charm for Phoenix who has turned down two previous comic book roles in the past.

Joaquin Phoenix was also up to play Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman and Doctor Strange for Marvel, but passed on those roles. Scorsese's frequent collaborations with DiCaprio led many to make the connection that the actor would be cast as the Joker.

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