joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix in ‘The Masters.’ Photo courtesy of The Weinstein Company

Warner Bros. Pictures announced Tuesday that Joaquin Phoenix will star in a film centered on one of DC Comics‘ most notorious super-villains, the Joker.

Director Todd Phillips’ “exploration of a man disregarded by society is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale,” according to the studio.

Phillips will direct from a screenplay he co-wrote with Scott Silver (“The Fighter”). Production is scheduled to begin later this year.

Phoenix is a three-time Oscar nominee for his work in “The Master,” “Walk the Line,” in which he starred as Johnny Cash, and “Gladiator.” His most recent film, Gus Van Sant’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” premiered at Sundance this year.

— City News Service