We can officially move a story out of the world of speculation and plant it firmly in the garden of fact.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Brothers is confirming that they have finalized a deal with Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix to take on the role of the clown prince of crime for a new origin film.

Premiere Of Sony Pictures Classics' "Irrational Man" - Red Carpet

Shooting is set to begin in September on a Joker origin film starring Phoenix in the lead role. The untitled film will be directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover) who co-wrote the script with Scott Silver (The Finest Hours). The studio is describing the film as an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”

the Joker, Alex Ross

The film is projected to have a budget of $55 million. This is keeping in line with the smaller budgets promised by DC Films president Walter Hamada. The film is also said to be darker and more experimental in tone and content.

No plot details or a release date have been given yet, but I will continue to follow this story.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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