Photo: Jeff Kravitz (Getty Images)

D.C. and Warner Bros. have made it clear that they’re not fucking around with this Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie anymore; the studio recently confirmed that the film was officially in the works, setting a release date of October 4, 2019 for it. Although it’s not clear how it’ll fit into the wider D.C. film universe, the movie is apparently being pitched as yet another origin story for comicdom’s favorite Scary Clown What Kills.

Now, Joker has also started lining up the rest of its non-Phoenix cast, with Vulture reporting that superhero stand-out Zazie Beetz is in talks for the film. Having recently stolen a bunch of scenes as Domino in this summer’s Deadpool 2—and turned in excellent-as-always work as Atlanta’s Van—Beetz is now negotiating for a role in the film as a “single mother who catches the eye” of Phoenix’s budding psychopath, leading the two to have a long and happy life together whenever he’s not out there committing boners.  

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But while that’s a fun fantasy, we should probably be serious here, folks: There’s really only two ways this is likely to go. Either some other psychopath does something terrible to Beetz (and probably her kid), thus sending Phoenix’s Joker fully over the edge into Clown Town. Or she becomes his first victim, thus demonstrating that he really is as “disturbed” as all those tattoos we’ve been reading recently had led us to believe.

But hey, maybe we’ll turn out to be wrong; maybe this’ll be the rare “darker,” grittier crime movie that doesn’t treat its female characters like people tokens to bloodily spend at the “Character Development” Arcade. (To be fair, it would be hilarious for a later D.C. movie to check back in with Beetz, alive and well, all, “Oh, The Joker? We used to date! How’s he been? We should get coffee soon.”)