Deadline has confirmed that Warner Bros. is in early development on a Joker standalone film in the Suicide Squad universe starring Jared Leto, who will also executive produce. No writer or director are assigned at this time. It’s very early.

Meanwhile Todd Phillips’ origin tales film about the Joker –which Deadline broke the news on– is still in development and will fall under a different DC origins cinematic banner, to separate it from the titles set during the current day. Joaquin Phoenix is set to star in Phillips’ movie.

Let’s see which project makes it to the finish line first. Suicide Squad 2 is going into production some time next year.

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Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to play the Clown Prince of Crime in Warner Bros. and Todd Phillips’ untitled Joker origin movie. While studio negotiations are not yet underway, Phillips has made it clear that Phoenix is the top choice to star and sources now tell Variety that, after thinking it over, Phoenix has agreed to the role. WB had no comment.

Phillips is on board to co-write and direct the movie. Phillips had met with Phoenix before the new year and was just waiting for the studio’s go-ahead, sources say. Insiders stress that Jared Leto, who starred in “Suicide Squad” as the Joker is still on board as the character in the DC universe and that this Phoenix has no effect on what happens with Leto’s character in future DC films.

Scott Silver will join Phillips as a co-writer on the film, which will delve into what it took for the Joker to become a mastermind criminal. Sources say the story will take place in the ’80s and have more of the look of a gritty crime drama than comic-book movie.

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. He was also in talks for Disney-Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” but passed on that as well.

Read more at Variety.

Joaquin Phoenix is in early talks to join the cast of Palme d’Or-winning French director Jacques Audiard’s The Sisters Brothers. The project is an adaptation of Patrick deWitt’s Gold Rush novel about brothers Eli and Charlie Sisters, who are hired to kill a prospector who has stolen from their boss in 1851 Oregon.

Read mote at deadline.com

Source: deadline.com

In what may be one of the bolder casting exercises in some time, Joaquin Phoenix is being eyed to play Jesus Christ in Garth Davis’ Mary Magdalene opposite Rooney Mara. A deal is still some way off being done, with scheduling believed to be one concern, but if this goes down it would be a clear statement of intent from the filmmakers about the kind of film they’re trying to make.

Phoenix is the very definition of a mercurial talent, transforming from role to role, whether the stoner private detective in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, the lovelorn writer forming an emotional connection with his phone’s operating system in Spike Jonze’s Her or even as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line.

Playing Jesus could offer a defining moment for the versatile and unpredictable Phoenix. He doesn’t necessarily invoke – physically at least – some previous seminal portrayals such as Jim Caviezel in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, but Phoenix does certainly possess the acting chops and intensity to bring the character to life.

Buzz has been growing about Mary Magdalene ever since Deadline broke the news that The King’s Speech producers See-Saw Films were putting the project together, with Universal on-board for international and the Weinstein Co. taking domestic. Rooney Mara joined the mix shortly after in the title role. Were a deal struck with Phoenix, this would raise the curiosity about the project even more with the assembling talent indicating an edgy, decidedly indie take on the greatest story ever told. It is set to be an authentic and humanistic portrait of one of the most enigmatic and misunderstood spiritual figures in history.

Joaquin Phoenix is in negotiations to reunite with M. Night Shyamalan for a new feature project that will start shooting in November in the director’s hometown of Philadelphia. The project will also bring Shyamalan back together with Jason Blum, who will produce. The two worked together most recently on upcoming Universal release The Visit. Marc Bienstock also produces, while Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider are on board as exec producers.

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Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal are circling Nocturnal Animals, the thriller that’s marking the return of fashion designer Tom Ford to the director’s chair for the first time since 2009’s A Single Man.

Adams is in talks to star while sources say Gyllenhaal is attached to star as the male lead.

Insiders also say that Joaquin Phoenix and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are also being sought for leading roles.

Wright’s book was initially published in 1993 and tells of a woman named Susan who receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband, a man whom she left 20 years earlier, asking for her opinion.

The book then tracks two stories: the story in the novel, titled Nocturnal Animals, which tells of a man whose family vacation turns violent and deadly; and the story of Susan, who finds herself recalling her first marriage and confronting some dark truths about herself.

The project is still being packaged and is not set up at a studio. Smokehouse has a first-look deal with Sony.

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