The momentum surrounding DC’s standalone Joker movie has only increased following news earlier this month that Joaquin Phoenix has officially inked a deal to play the Batman nemesis in a dark and gritty origin tale outside of the DC Extended Universe. Now even more dominoes (almost literally) appear to be falling into place.
Phoenix might soon be joined by a face that’s already familiar to Marvel — and specifically Deadpool — fans. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed Deadpool 2’s Zazie Beetz, who played Domino in the mouthy merc’s sequel film earlier this year, is now in talks to co-star alongside Phoenix in Joker.
According to the report, Beetz would play a still-unnamed “single mother who catches the interest of” the Joker, apparently while he’s still taking his formative steps, and before he’s fully committed himself to a life of crime as the notorious baddie.
Directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips and co-written by Phillps and Scott Silver, Joker is expected to come in at a relatively modest (by comic book movie standards) $55 million budget — in keeping with DC’s reported emphasis on Phoenix’s character-focused take on how the Joker will step out of the shadows and into Gotham’s criminal pantheon.
As DC fans know, there’s also a DCEU version of the Joker reportedly heading toward theaters sometime in the not-too-distant future. That project is a vehicle for Jared Leto, whose much-anticipated take on the character in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad disappointed some fans that felt Leto didn’t get enough screen time in his first outing.
Until recently, we knew more or less the same amount of nothing about both Leto’s and Phoenix’s Joker projects. But with a steady tide of recent reveals from DC about casting, plot, and now a development window, it appears that Warner Bros. and DC are farther along with Phoenix's standalone version. Joker is slated to cut up in theaters beginning on Oct. 4 of next year.