The Joker Won’t Be Joaquin Phoenix’s First DC Comics Role

The Joker will not be Joaquin Phoenix's first DC comic book character when he stars in the Todd Phillips film that was recently greenlit.

It’s official: Joaquin Phoenix will follow the footsteps of Jack Nicholson, Cesar Romero, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto by suiting up as the Clown Prince of Crime for a lower-budgeted solo origin film. But what most fans don’t realize is that this will not be Phoenix’s first DC role.

Phoenix’s filmography features the talented actor playing all sorts of characters throughout his illustrious career. The man has had a plethora of roles in which he has played Jesus Christ in Mary Magdalene all the way to a washed up baseball player who ends swinging away on a bunch of aliens in Signs. The man has range, dedication and is absolutely courageous when executing a role. This set of skills makes him an amazing choice to play the Joker. But before he was Joaquin, a boy named Leaf Phoenix was on CBS’s Superboy show which ran from 1988-1992. You can check out the video below.

The episode titled “Little Hercules” was about a young boy who tries to impress a girl by cracking the launch codes for a submarine and then Superboy has to save the day as usual. In the opening to this episode, Phoenix’s character imagines being Superboy and showing some bullies what it’s like when the tables are turned.

While Superboy is a much different character than the Joker, the actions seen in the fantasy are right up the Clown Prince of Crime’s alley. The Joker has been known to mame a few and is no stranger to disintegration, whether it be through acid or other means. The behavior that Phoenix so excellently portrayed at a young age only goes to show that fans are in for yet another great performance by an actor as Batman’s greatest villain, The Joker.

Official plot details are currently under wraps, though the Warner Bros. origin film is rumored to depict the Clown Prince of Crime as a failed comedian who becomes The Joker after bombing with audiences. The project is also said to be a gritty and grounded crime film set in 1980s Gotham City. Todd Phillips is set to direct the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Silver while The Wolf of Wall Street producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff is on board with Richard Baratta serving as executive producer. Production on the project is scheduled to begin this September in New York City with a budget of $55 million.