It sounded implausible just a few months ago, but now it’s basically official: Joaquin Phoenix is teaming with Todd Phillips, the man who made The Hangover and Old School, for a movie about Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker. The Hollywood Reporter reports the film will be titled Joker and will open in theaters on October 4, 2019. I regret to inform you the description of the story and tone THR has includes the dreaded g-word:

Last month, Phoenix finalized his deal to star as the arch-nemesis of Batman. The studio describes Phillips' film as being an ‘exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.’ Phillips and Scott Silver co-wrote the script.

Apparently Phillips’ Joker "is meant to be darker and more experimental in tone and content (at least as experimental as a studio can be with established brands such as DC), which is described as being akin to a crime drama." Hey, if you’re gonna do that, then Joaquin Phoenix is the perfect man to play the role. As he’s shown in films like I’m Still Here and You Were Never Really Here, few men can burrow quite so deeply into disturbed and sometimes extremely violent people. I’m still not sure how Phoenix fits with Phillips; I can’t conceive of them making any movie together, much less a movie about the freaking Joker, but if it really is a character study about a crazy criminal, then Phoenix is smart casting.

We won’t have long to find out; the movie is due in theaters in a little over a year.

Gallery - The Coolest DC Movie Easter Eggs: