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Report: Robert DeNiro to join 'Joker' cast

Robert De Niro attends a news conference at

Robert De Niro attends a news conference at the Nobu Shoreditch hotel in London on May 15. Credit: AP/Alastair Grant

Robert De Niro has nearly completed negotiations to star opposite Joaquin Phoenix in Huntington-native director Todd Phillips' movie about DC Comics supervillain the Joker. said Monday that the two-time Academy Award winner, 74, will play a talk-show host instrumental in the Phoenix character's evolution to become Batman's archnemesis.

The Warner Bros. picture, from "The Hangover"-trilogy filmmaker Phillips, is due out Oct. 4, 2019. Scheduled to begin production this year, this origin story is separate from another upcoming Warner movie starring Jared Leto as the Joker.

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