Arts & Entertainment

Joaquin Phoenix's "Experimental" Joker Movie Is the Perfect Antidote to 'Suicide Squad'

Finally some good news about a DC movie.
IMAGE Getty/Warner Bros.

Things are, shall we say, in flux over at Warner Bros. and DC. They're currently rethinking their strategy for the struggling DC Extended Universe. And meanwhile, they're developing multiple Joker movies across separate universes. None of it quite makes sense at this point, but there is finally a little bit of good news: Joaquin Phoenix is officially playing the Joker in an untitled origin movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

Todd Phillips is directing the film and co-wrote the script, which the studio describes as being an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.” Scott Silver co-wrote the script.

This will reportedly be a "darker and more experimental" film that "is meant to be different from other comic book superhero movies."

As Variety previously reported, Phoenix's Joker crime story film will fall under another new banner of DC Comic, "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."

Meanwhile, there are two other movies starring Jared Leto's Joker in the works—a sequel to Suicide Squad and Leto's own stand-alone movie.

Yes, the last thing DC needs is a second universe, when it can't even handle the one it has. But the good news: Phoenix is the perfect weirdo to play the Joker. Also, the DC Extended Universe is desperately lacking in creativity. If Warner Bros. is willing to truly be experimental with this Phoenix Joker movie—like Logan and Deadpool, perhaps—then it might be the perfect antidote to Justice League.


This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for
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