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Joaquin Phoenix is the latest intense actor up for a role as The Joker

Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

If you just couldn’t get enough of the stories about Jared Leto’s in-character harassment of his Suicide Squad castmates, then we have some good news for you: Another actor known for blurring the boundaries between life and art is being considered for a role as the Clown Prince of Crime. Variety reports that Joaquin Phoenix is director Todd Phillips’ first choice for the title role in his standalone Joker movie, a deal that’s not official but—from this report anyway—sounds like it’s informally a done deal.

The film, naturally, is an origin story, and is said to take place in the ‘80s. Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver are reportedly aiming for a “gritty crime movie” vibe, completing the in-development cliche trifecta. This is separate from not only Suicide Squad 2, but also the standalone Joker and Harley Quinn movie, both of which will reunite Jared Leto and Margot Robbie as cosplayers’ favorite psychotic power couple. Leonardo DiCaprio was previously rumored to be up for the Joker role in Phillips’ film, but has since been taken out of the running, presumably out of an aversion to mailing used condoms to his co-stars in the name of cinema.


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