Jack Nicholson. Mark Hamill. Heath Ledger. Jared Leto. The Joker has been iconically portrayed by many different actors over the years. And according to a recent report by Variety, you can add Joaquin Phoenix to that list.

Warner Bros. has commissioned Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy, Old School) to create a Joker origin movie, which will reportedly by unattached to the continuity of the DC movie universe, including the maligned Suicide Squad franchise. DC has reportedly begun plans to create a new banner of movies that, in a reversal of the trend of hyper-connected comic book movies, take place in separate canons and continuities, allowing directors and screenwriters more freedom to create compelling stories.


Jared Leto as The Joker in ‘Suicide Squad’

Variety reports that while studio negotiations haven’t yet begun, Phillips has been clear about his desire to have Phoenix play The Joker, and Phoenix has agreed to the role in principle.

Suicide Squad 2 is expected to see Jared Leto reprise his role as The Joker in a role completely disconnected from this movie. This currently untitled origin story is said to take place in the 1980s and follow The Joker’s rise as a crime lord in Gotham.

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