After a few weeks of playing “will he, won’t he?” Warner Bros. Pictures has officially announced that Joaquin Phoenix will play the DC icon ‘The Joker’ in an upcoming film.

Warner Bros. Pictures made the announcement earlier today and the studio also confirmed that the film will be an origin story of the DC Super-Villain. Not only do we have the star of the film, and the basic plot, but the studio also confirmed the director.

While it was unofficially known that Todd Phillips would be directing the project, Warner Bros. Pictures also made that official today as well. According to the studio, the film centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is “an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen”. The studio went on to describe the film adding, “Phillips’ exploration of a man disregarded by society is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale”.

Phillips will direct from a screenplay he co-wrote with writer Scott Silver (“The Fighter”). The film will be produced by Emma Tillinger Koskoff and executive produced by Richard Baratta. The film begins production later this year.

In the past Phoenix has been honored with three Oscar nominations, for his work in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master,” James Mangold’s “Walk the Line,” in which he starred as Johnny Cash, and Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator.” Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 for Lynne Ramsey’s “You Were Never Really Here,” and has also earned acclaim for his work in numerous films, including Spike Jonze’s “Her.”

His most recent film, Gus Van Sant’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” premiered at Sundance this year. The new Joker project will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. Warner Bros. stopped short of confirming a release date for the film but we should hear more information about the project over the next few weeks.