Joaquin Phoenix in talks to play Joker in upcoming origin movie

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Variety reports that Phillips met with Phoenix to play the lead character in his Joker origin movie for Warner Bros. However, after a meeting with Phillips, Phoenix is said to have had time to mull the role over and has agreed to sign on. 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.

The actor was also in talks to play Doctor Strange for Disney-owned Marvel Studios, but declined. Sources told Variety the movie will be set in the 1980s and will play more like a straight crime drama than a flashy superhero film. While "Suicide Squad" star Jared Leto isn't reprising the role in this particular project, another Academy Award victor is poised to take over.

Todd Philips, who directed all three movies in "The Hangover" trilogy, is on board to direct. Philips also helmed films like "Road Trip" and "Old School", suggesting the as-yet-unnamed Joker movie will have a comedic bent.

Leonardo DiCaprio was rumored to take on the role, since his longtime collaborator Martin Scorsese will allegedly be involved in Phillips' origin story.

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As well, DC is already conditioning even casual fans to accept that there can be more than one version of the same character between TV and movies, as it's done with Barry Allen/The Flash.

Phoenix has been considered for another villainous DC role in the past: Lex Luthor in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", but passed on that role, which ultimately went to Jesse Eisenberg.

Phoenix, for what it's worth, has been approached for comic book roles before.

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