Joaquin Phoenix poised to play the Joker in new standalone movie

But he wouldn't be replacing Jared Leto. It's as confusing as it sounds...

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 19:  Actor Joaquin Phoenix attends the 'Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot' Premiere during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 19, 2018 in Park City, Utah.  (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)

Joaquin Phoenix – star of Gladiator, Her and Walk the Line – could be playing the Joker in a new standalone DC film. Well, that’s according to Variety, who report that Phoenix is in talks to lead the origins movie directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover).

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Exciting, but very confusing news for fans. After all, didn’t Suicide Squad cement Jared Leto as the incumbent Clown Prince of Crime in the DC extended universe? Has Leto already enjoyed his last laugh in the role?

Perhaps not. Variety claims both Leto and Phoenix could play the Joker. While Leto may continue to play Gotham’s most wanted in future DC films, Phoenix’s Joker would exist outside the current Suicide Squad/Justice League stories and within its own bubble universe that has no bearing on Leto’s character.

Some fans are worried that DC might be birthing a multiverse before they’ve created a strong foundation for their original universe.

Just to add to the confusion, Phoenix has previously suggested he wouldn’t like to play a superhero or star in another blockbuster at all. “Ultimately it never felt like they’d really be fulfilling,” he told Time Out when asked if he would want to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Doctor Strange.

However, despite the inevitable head-scratching, some fans think Phoenix would be the perfect choice for the role.

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Warner Brothers haven’t announced when the untitled film and bubble universe will hit cinemas, so it could be years before we see a glimpse of Batman’s greatest foe. However, it already looks like the project embodies exactly what the character stands for: introducing a little anarchy to upset the established order.