Infamous film prankster Joaquin Phoenix may add a new clown persona to resume: the Joker.
Variety reports the actor is in talks to appear as the Clown Prince of Crime in director Todd Phillips’ stand-alone “Joker Origins” film for Warner Bros. According to earlier reports, the film will be set in the 1980s and detail how a hardscrabble kid from the wrong side of the Gotham City tracks turned into its most infamous murder.
The project, should it come to fruition, will be first in a series of Elseworlds style projects Warner Bros. hopes to release alongside the remaining films set inside the film continuity established by Man of Steel. Though, it is also possible the films will supplant the so-called DC Extended Universe in favor of separate film worlds as seen in the earlier Superman and Batman film series.
Phoenix already has some experience with being a prankster, the 2010 film I’m Still Here purported to chronicle his transition out of acting and into hip-hop. Taking the “Joaquin Phoenix” character deadly seriously, the actor continued the ruse in public appearances throughout the production of the film. Like Suicide Squad‘s Joker, Jared Leto, Phoenix is known for his method acting.
Leto, meanwhile, will be back as the DCEU’s Joker in Suicide Squad 2 and a film centering on Joker and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.