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It would seem that Todd Phillips is not messing around at all when it comes to casting his upcoming Joker movie. It impressive to hear a couple weeks ago that the filmmaker landed Joaquin Phoenix to play the lead role, and since then there have been rumors swirling around Zazie Beetz and Robert De Niro. Now another exciting name has entered the field of play, as apparently actress Frances Conroy is in talks to join the ensemble.
This information comes to us courtesy of The Wrap, which notes that this isn't a done deal yet. Should she wind up signing on the dotted line, however, it seems that she will be taking on the role of Penny - the Joker's mother. No other information is currently available about the feature, though it's been said that the movie will tell the origin story for the Clown Prince of Crime - which evidently will include elements of his family history. The film is scheduled to start filming this fall in New York, currently scheduled for an October 4, 2019 release date, and seems to be aiming for veteran top notch talent in key roles.
Obviously not much is known about what we can expect from the Joker's mother, but Frances Conroy's presence in the role would certainly be very exciting. Going back to the late 1970s (she made her feature debut in Woody Allen's Manhattan), Conroy has an incredible record of amazing performances both on the big screen and small. She is probably best known for playing Ruth Fisher on the beloved HBO series Six Feet Under - a role that earned her a Golden Globe - but her work has continued with key roles on shows like Casual, The Mist and American Horror Story. Unfortunately she does have some comic book movie experience on her record, as she had a supporting part opposite Halle Berry in Pitof's notoriously terrible Catwoman back in 2004 - but perhaps the Joker film will offer a chance at some redemption in that department.
As mentioned, there have not been many official announcements made about this film (it wasn't mentioned at all during Warner Bros.' San Diego Comic-Con panel this past weekend). It has been confirmed that the movie will be an "Elseworld" story that isn't associated with the DC Extended Universe, and it will be working with a much smaller budget than your typical comic book tentpole. It's been said that Zazie Beetz will play a single mother who meets the lead character before he is turned into the Joker, and Robert De Niro will reportedly play a TV talk show host who winds up with a key part in that transformation. Hopefully we will get more details as we get closer and closer to the film's start date - so keep an eye here on CinemaBlend for all the latest news.