Joaquin Phoenix is apparently in talks to star in Low Life.
The tense drama, which also stars Marion Cotillard, would be the actor's fourth reunion with writer-director James Gray, reported Deadline.
The French actress will play a woman attempting to move to the US from Poland, but her American dream soon turns into a nightmare. When she arrives in New York, she falls prey to a "charming sleazebag" pimp, who could be played by Joaquin.
Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner is said to be close to signing on for the role of Joaquin's cousin, a magician who sweeps her off her feet and offers her the chance to escape the nightmare life she has fallen into.
Low Life would be James' fourth film with Joaquin, who previously starred in The Yards, We Own The Night and Two Lovers.
Filming is set to begin next year, as new mum Marion is shooting The Dark Knight Rises, Jeremy is expected to start work on the Tony Gilroy-directed The Bourne Legacy, and Joaquin is working on Paul Thomas Anderson's untitled drama.