Zazie Beetz is one of the most exciting actors of the moment. She did some standout work on the latest season of Donald Glover’s Atlanta. She kicked some serious butt as Domino in Deadpool 2. And now she’s venturing into the DC universe with Joaquin Phoenix.

Beetz is currently in talks to star in Phoenix’s upcoming Joker movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Joker origin story from The Hangover director Todd Phillips will follow Phoenix as Batman’s arch-nemesis. Beetz would play a single mother in the movie who “catches the interest” of Pheonix’s character before he becomes the infamous baddie.

The project, which has been described as “gritty” (shiver) and “darker and more experimental in tone and content” then the rest of the DCEU, is said to be loosely based on Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke. In the 1988 graphic novel, the Joker is given a tragic backstory as a failed comedian who becomes the supervillain after his wife is killed in an accident and his face becomes disfigured. The project will likely debut under a new, separate banner under the main DCEU, rumored to be called DC Black or DC Dark.

As bizarre as this whole thing sounds, I’m very into the idea of seeing Phoenix and Beetz in a movie together. I just hope her role is more than a love interest, or even worse, that she doesn’t get “fridged” like that other Deadpool 2 character. The Joker origin story hits theaters October 4, 2019.

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