Joaquin Phoenix Is Officially Playing The Joker

Joaquin Phoenix Inherent Vice

One of the strangest projects currently in the works in Hollywood is Todd Phillips' standalone Joker movie, and now it's one giant step closer to becoming an actual reality. There have been rumors floating around for weeks suggesting that the Academy Award-nominated Joaquin Phoenix might sign on to make his first comic book adaptation, and now that suggestion has become a reality. New reports are saying that the actor has finalized his deal and will become the fifth actor to portray the Clown Prince of Crime in live action on the big screen.

This confirmation comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter, which adds that production on the untitled Joker movie is scheduled to start up in the fall. Todd Phillips is writing the script based on a script that he co-wrote along with Scott Silver, and as we learned last summer, legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese is on board as a producer. We currently don't know exactly what the film will be about, or what to expect from its narrative, but the studio has evidently described it thusly:

An exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.

The timing of this development is definitely interesting, as fans everywhere have their calendars marked for a major event next week: San Diego Comic-Con. Warner Bros. always puts on a big show during its annual Saturday morning Hall H presentation, particularly when it comes to their DC Comics properties, and audiences will be expecting a big show this year. There is already high expectations for what may be shown from Aquaman, Shazam!, and Wonder Woman 1984, but perhaps folks should gird themselves for some big announcements regarding this Joker movie as well. It would be a pretty huge move if the studio could bring Joaquin Phoenix and/or Todd Phillips up on stage to briefly discuss what the project on which they're collaborating - perhaps even giving us a title. Hopefully they will also explain how they plan on having the non-DC Extended Universe feature work when the same studio is also planning a DC Extended Universe Joker title starring Jared Leto.

While Joaquin Phoenix is best known for his dramatic work, collecting Oscar nominations for movies like Gladiator, Walk The Line, and The Master, comic book movie aficionados will recognize that this isn't the first time his name has been linked with a major character. Back when it looked like Benedict Cumberbatch was unavailable, there was a lot of buzzing in Hollywood about the possibility of Phoenix playing Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That didn't wind up happening, as the production's schedule was adjusted to fit Cumberbatch's, but it's interesting that just a few years later we now find him set up to play one of the greatest, if not the greatest, supervillains of all time.

Hopefully we'll get more updates about this project soon (seriously, be tuned in next Saturday), and stick to CinemaBlend for all the new details.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.