What seemed like a highly unlikely scenario is actually going to happen. According to THR, the elusive and reclusive Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice) has closed a deal with Warner Bros. to appear as the Joker in what has been described as a “gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-’80s Gotham City” that serves as the origin of the notorious Batman villain. Todd Phillips‘ (The Hangover) co-wrote the script with Scott Silver and will direct the “cautionary tale” about “a man disregarded by society.”
The movie has a modest budget for a Batman-related movie and will stand alone from the greater DC Cinematic Universe that includes Wonder Woman, Justice League and Suicide Squad, in which Jared Leto played the Crown Prince of Crime.
In a somewhat confusing move, WB is also developing a Joker & Harley Quinn movie with Leto and Margo Robbie reprising their Suicide Squad roles described as “an insane and twisted love story. When Harry Met Sally on benzedrine.” Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who wrote and directed Crazy, Stupid, Love, are in talks to write and direct.
Djimon Hounsou is joining the rare company of actors who have played comic book characters in two movie universes. The Golden Globe-nominated actor will reprise his Guardians of the Galaxy role of Korath the Pursuer in 2019’s Captain Marvel for Marvel Studios and he will also be appearing in not one, but two, DC Cinematic Universe movies, first as The Fisherman King in Jame’s Wan’s Aquaman, and then he will tackle the role of the Wizard that bestows magic-based superpowers on young Billy Batson (Asher Angel) in David Sandberg‘s (Lights Out) Shazam!, replacing Ron Cephas Jones, who was originally thought to have the role.
And, here’s the first still image of Zachary Levi in costume as the “Big Red Cheese,” courtesy of EW:
Images courtesy of DC Comics/Warner Bros.; Edit by Movie Nooz