Joaquin Phoenix May Join DC Universe as Another Version of the Joker

Warner Bros and Todd Phillips are working on an untitled origin story for the Joker, according to Variety. The latest actor tapped to play the main character is Joaquin Phoenix, though negotiations have not begun.

Who Else Could Joaquin Phoenix Portray?

Alright. Let’s talk Batman villains. This massive roster includes Bane, Penguin, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, Riddler, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Scarecrow…then you get into deeper cuts like Calendar Man, Man-Bat, Mad Hatter, Clayface and Kite Man. Just so we’re clear: I don’t read Batman comics. My favorite Batman, as it says in my bio, is Adam West, and I stand by that. I bring this up because this list was generated with minimal exposure to the Bat-verse.

Joaquin Phoenix JokerSo that means that there are very few people on this planet who think the Joker is the only villain standing between Bruce Wayne and a cleaner Gotham. Apparently, all those people live and work in Hollywood, and they believe we need another dive into the psyche of one of the most overplayed bad guys in the history of ever.

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Here it is a little louder, hopefully someone will hear it: we need another Joker movie about as much as we need another reboot of Spider-Man. In addition to the Phillips film, Jared Leto will reprise his portrayal of the Joker in Suicide Squad 2.

Please Don’t Play it Again

The potential description for this project sounds like something we’ve heard before.

The movie would fall under a yet-to-be-announced new banner of DC Comics, which would give the studio the opportunity to expand the canon of the iconic comic-book characters with unique story angles that aren’t included in its current cinematic universe.

Joaquin Phoenix Joker Movie
To be fair he DOES sort of look the part…

The film will reportedly “…delve into what it took for the Joker to become a mastermind criminal.” Unnamed sources also say that Phillips plans on setting his film in the 1980s, with a gritty crime drama aesthetic.


We’ve seen multiple angles of the Joker already—from Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger’s deranged and dangerous all the way to Jack Nicholson and Cesar Romero’s goofier takes. Please, DC, if you’re creating an origin story for a Gotham villain, pick literally any other one. This repetition is enough to drive us batty.

Phoenix has turned down the roles of both Lex Luthor (Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Doctor Strange (Doctor Strange). Whether he will accept the role of the Joker is yet to be seen.

Jen Schiller
Jen Schiller
Jen is a writer with a penchant for nerdy subject matter, and a nerd with a penchant for writing. She is into theatre, Disney, Harry Potter, books and her cats Sif and Dinah. She can be found all over the internet, or in your backyard catching Pokemon. Jen's favorite Batman is Adam West, and she can't be convinced otherwise.