Zazie Beetz, who wowed fans with her portrayal of Domino in this summer’s Deadpool 2, is getting ready to appear in another comic book-based film. The Hollywood Reporter is stating that the Atlanta actress is currently in talks to appear in Joker.
The film will star Joaquin Phoenix as the iconic Batman villain and will examine the character’s origin. Budgeted at $55 million, a fraction of what Warners has been spending on their bigger superhero epics, Joker appears to be a smaller, more intimate character piece in comparison. Comparisons to the tone of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver have been made. Todd Phillips is directing.
Story specifics for the film are a tightly guarded secret for right now, but the Hollywood Reporter does describe that the role that Beetz is up for as “a single mother who catches the interest of the man who will go on to become the ‘clown prince of crime.’”
Joker was just one of several properties Warner Brothers was developing that would feature the character in some capacity. The studio also was looking at a project that would pair him with his sometimes comics paramour Harley Quinn as well as possibly having him make a return appearance in Suicide Squad. Both of these films would reportedly take place in Warners’ shared DCEU cinematic universe, so Jared Leto, who played the Joker in the first Suicide Squad film, would presumably return to the role for those projects. Joker is set outside the DCEU continuity, allowing for the casting of Phoenix and giving Phillips more freedom in telling the story he wants to tell.
With a production start scheduled for September, Joker is set for an October 4, 2019 premier. It is an interesting placement, right in the middle of awards season, leading to speculation that Warners might feel they have a potential Oscar contender on their hands.