While studio negotiations are not yet underway, Phillips has made it clear that Phoenix is the top choice to star in the movie, reports variety.com.
Phillips is on board to co-write and direct the movie. He had met with Phoenix before the new year and was just waiting for the studio's go-ahead, according to a source.
Actor Jared Leto, who starred in "Suicide Squad" as the Joker is still on board as the character in the DC universe. Phoenix's character has no effect on what happens with Leto's character in future DC films.
The movie falls under a yet-to-be-announced new banner of DC Comics, which would give the studio the opportunity to expand the canon of the iconic comic-book characters with unique story angles that aren't included in its current cinematic universe.
The plot of the movie will be set in the 1980s and have more of the look of a gritty crime drama than comic-book movie.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)