Joaquin Phoenix in talks to star as the Joker

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Sources say Phoenix has agreed to the role but has not yet entered negotiations with studio Warner Bros., who were reportedly eyeing Academy Award victor Leonardo DiCaprio in September.

"Todd Phillips" Joker movie is apparently an origin tale for the iconic charcater.

According to the outlet, negotiations have not yet begun between the actor's camp and the studio, but Phillips has anointed him as the top choice.

As was reported past year, the Joker stand-alone film will be a part of the studio's yet-to-be-named new branch of DC Comics that will allow Warner Bros to "expand the canon of the iconic comic-book characters with unique story angles that aren't included in its current cinematic universe".

Joaquin Phoenix Axelle  Bauer-Griffin  FilmMagic
If the whispers are anything to go by 43-year-old actor Joaquin Phoenix will be taking on the role of the disturbed Batman villain

Fans of the tattooed, grilled Jared Leto version take heart though, as Leto will remain the "mainline" DCU version of the character in the upcoming Suicide Squad sequel and any other movies arising from that world. Warner Bros had no comment on the news. That must not have worked out, as they're now in talks with Joaquin Phoenix to slather on the grease paint and menace Gotham City.

The as-yet-untitled film will take place outside the current DC movieverse. Leonardo Dicaprio was the first person approached to star in Phillip's standalone film, but that didn't pan out.

Todd Phillips, director of "The Hangover", will direct the film. He was also in talks for Disney-Marvel's "Doctor Strange", but passed on that as well. Heath Ledger set a perhaps unsurpassable bar for Joker performances in Christopher Nolan's trilogy, yet Phoenix is bound to have a compelling take on the role. The Joker has been iconically portrayed by many different actors over the years.

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