News has emerged that Joaquin Phoenix is currently in talks to take on the heavy mantle of Batman’s ultimate nemesis- The Joker. The film is set to exist outside of the other DC cinematic universe. Jared Leto previously and controversially portrayed the Joker in Suicide Squad and is set to reprise that role in a solo film next to Margot Robbie who was wonderfully cast as Harley Quinn. Leto was highly criticized for turning the jokester into a gangster and dumbing down the idea of the complex character.
Phoenix certainly knows how to act bizarre- google “Phoenix Letterman” for proof- though we aren’t convinced that the bizarre behavior of Phoenix is the right fit for the Clown Prince of Crime. Particularly after some of the most incredible performances that solidified the identity of the Joker starting with the wonderful work of Mark Hamill in the animated Batman series and the impressive character created by Heath Ledger in Nolan’s Dark Knight film.
This new incarnation is rumored to be set in the 1980’s and is being co-written by Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Due Date, Starsky and Hutch) and Scott Silver (8 Mile, The Fighter). Phillips is directing and early in the project Martin Scorsese was set to produce.
There are no dates attached to the project for release and little information about other cast and whether or not Batman will be in the film.
The less that is known about the Joker the more compelling the character is and that is one thing Nolan and Heath Ledger understood very well. Ledger’s Joker was an unreliable narrator and felt more like a demon hunting in the city of Gotham. The danger of a Joker origin story, like the multiple incarnations Warner Bros are currently creating is the over saturation of the character.