Joaquin Phoenix is adding some mystery to the report that he’ll be starring as the Joker in Todd Phillips’ standalone movie for Warner Bros. Variety reported earlier this month that Phoenix was the top choice for the role and that he was in talks to star as the beloved comic book villain, following previous turns by Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Jared Leto. However, Phoenix appears clueless about the report in a new video interview with French publication Allocine (via The Playlist).
When asked to comment on the Joker rumor, Phoenix replied: “What movie about the Joker?” The reporter tried to explain a bit of the rumor to Phoenix, and the actor admitted it “sounds amazing.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Phoenix said of the standalone Joker movie. “Don’t be sorry.”
Phillips, best known as the director of “The Hangover” trilogy, is co-writing and directing the movie, which is expected to be a character prequel that finds the Joker rising through the criminal underworld to become a mob king. Leonardo DiCaprio was originally a top choice for the role, but sources told Variety that Phoenix was now the leading contender and even agreed to take on the role.
Phoenix has long been resistant to joining any major studio blockbuster. He was in talks to play Lex Luther in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and was in consideration to lead “Doctor Strange,” but the actor ended up turning down both superhero films.
It should be noted that it’s quite possible Phoenix is conning the reporter, just as he conned nearly everyone during the filming of “I’m Still Here.” The Variety report mentioned no deal had been signed, so Phoenix may not be at liberty to speak of the project until his casting is officially announced.
While we’ll continue to wait and see how the standalone Joker movie pans out, Phoenix fans can catch the actor on the big screen in “You Were Never Really Here” on April 6 and “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” on May 11.
Watch Phoenix’s video interview below.