Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Darrell Mcdonald

Joaquin Phoenix circling The Joker role in origins film

Joaquin Phoenix circling The Joker role in origins film

Like the modern Batman movies, the Joker film will fall under its own banner of DC Comics films, allowing for the writers to develop their own story lines inconsistent with what already exists about the character.

It was a year ago when Warner Bros. and DC notified the industry that they were starting a Joker origin film with Phillips as director, Martin Scorsese as the producer and Scott Silver writing the screenplay.

The Joker has memorably been part of two Batman movies in the form of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger, and was most recently played by Jared Leto in the first "Suicide Squad" film.

Tommy Wiseau, the famed writer/director/producer/star of the cult classic, The Room is expressing interest in playing the Joker for the Martin Scorsese-produced standalone Joker film to be directed by Todd Phillips.

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Phillips has made it clear to the studio that Phoenix is his top choice for the character. This shouldn't be too surprising given the Joker's stature as one of the best villains of fiction (as well as a box office draw considering what he and Harley Quinn did for the otherwise toxically received Suicide Squad). However, negotiations at Warner Bros. are not yet underway.

Phillips' film, which he co-wrote with The Fighter and The Finest Hours scribe Scott Silver, is said to chronicle the Joker's early days as he rises to power as a criminal roaming and ruling the streets in the 1980s. He was asked by Marvel to play the Hulk in The Avengers and was approached again for the titular role of Doctor Strange.

These films are meant to "expand the canon of the iconic comic-book characters with unique story angles that aren't included in its current cinematic universe", said Variety. Imagine for a moment Phoenix's Commodus from Gladiator speaking with the Joker's singsong voice, and then try not to smile. But Phoenix passed on both projects. Gus Van Sant's film "He Won't Get Far on Foot", about a man on the road to sobriety after a life-changing accident, was the most recent movie to feature Phoenix.

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