Joaquin Phoenix's 'Joker' Origin Film Is Happening, September Shoot Confirmed

As tends to happen in the days leading up to Comic-Con, the biggest news you'd expect to drop in Hall H have been revealed early. THR confirms Warner Bros. has greenlit a Joker origin movie directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix.

While there is a Jared Leto version of Batman's arch-nemesis lurking in the DCEU already, and with a solo movie apparently in the works, Phillips' version will be a standalone film as part of a completely different banner. Set in the 1980s and co-written by Phillips and Scott Silver, it will be a gritty, criminal drama about how the Joker rose to power in the Gotham City underworld. This will be a much smaller movie compared to others in the DCEU, with a reported budget of around $55M. Production will begin this September.

The start date should offer up plenty of time to figure out exactly what this movie is going to be. Martin Scorsese's name is mysteriously absent from the latest update, odd because he was so prominently attached before and clearly an inspiration for the project's tone. Will the rumored Robert De Niro be involved? And what about any connections to Matt Reeves' Batman movie?