Warner Bros is looking for a third actor in as many films to play iconic supervillain Joker, and Leonardo DiCaprio could be within the studio's sights.
Heath Ledger played Batman's menacing, quick-thinking, and quick-witted nemesis in Christopher Nolan's 2008 movie "The Dark Knight Rises."
Jared Leto took on the mantle for the antihero antics of 2016's "Suicide Squad," so far retaining it for a spin-off that has been referred to as "Harley Quinn vs. The Joker."
There's another Joker project in the works at Warners, though, and it's an origin story that would allow for a look at the formative years of the cackling criminal mastermind.
A director, producer, and writer have already been linked with that Gotham City spin-off, with Todd Phillips of "The Hangover" and "War Dogs" said to be in the frame to helm, with Scott Silver of "8 Mile," "The Fighter" and "The Finest Hours" as his co-writer.
Martin Scorsese's involvement as a producer was also broached, and The Hollywood Reporter now suggests that it might be, in part, because Warner Bros is angling for long-time collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio as the Joker himself.
Scorsese first directed DiCaprio in "The Aviator" and the pair teamed up again for "Gangs of New York," "The Departed," "Shutter Island" and then "Wolf of Wall Street."
Why retain Leto to continue a "Suicide Squad" side-story while pursuing another actor for a different Joker tale?
One reason could be to do with Warners' vision for a set of standalone features not related to the core DC Extended Universe.
That way, the same characters may appear in these atypical spin-offs, but their stories would not have to fold back in to the main Extended Universe films, unlike with Disney's current crop of Marvel and "Star Wars" movies.
The approach could also make sense of rumors regarding Ben Affleck's involvement in future Batman movies, should another actor be cast for a separate, one-off film.
DiCaprio last appeared in "The Revenant," for which he won a long-awaited first Academy Award, having been nominated for four acting Oscars in the preceding years -- two of which were the result of his work in Scorsese movies.
He previously performed opposite Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in 1989's "Batman," in Scorsese's "The Departed."
Currently on his slate are two literary adaptations: crime drama "The Black Hand," and a further Scorsese project in FBI origin story "Killers of the Flower Moon."