Joaquin Phoenix in talks to play The Joker in solo movie

Probably a better casting than DiCaprio...

Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to play The Joker in the upcoming Todd Philiips-directed Joke origin movie.

According to Variety, Phillips has revealed that Phoenix is the front-runner to play the Clown Prince of Crime. It was previously understood that Leonardo DiCaprio was a contender for the role.

Though Warner Bros. had no comment regarding the casting rumours, sources revealed that Phillips met with Phoenix late last year and is waiting for the studio make a decision on who would follow Jared Leto as the modern-day Joker.

Read more: The Joker origin movie: plot, cast, release date and everything you need to know

This wouldn’t be Phoenix’s first foray into the DC film universe – though this solo Joker movie is rumoured to exist outside the DCEU canon – since the actor was considered for the role of Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

Jared Leto most recently played The Joker in Suicide Squad and will likely return to the role in Suicide Squad 2 and the reported Joker-Harley Quinn movie in development.

When asked about this Joker origin movie, Leto said: “I’m a little confused too, but yeah, there are a couple of things happening in the DC world… It’s a big universe and when you play the Joker, there’s no ownership there. You have the honour of holding the baton for a little while and then passing it off.”

Regarding the plot of this solo movie, Brendan Schraub, a former MMA fighter who is friends with director Phillips’ agent, told The Joe Rogan Experience podcast:“It’s dark. It’s like a dark Joker. As a kid, he had a permanent smile and everyone made fun of him. It’s like on the streets of Brooklyn. It’s super dark and real.”