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Frances Conroy in talks to play Joker's mother in the Joaquin Phoenix movie

I'm still somewhat amazed that not only is Warner Bros.' standalone Joker film actually taking shape, but that it's attracting some considerable talent to boot. Joaquin Phoenix is set to star as the title character in JOKER, and both Zazie Beetz (DEADPOOL 2) and Robert De Niro (THE IRISHMAN) have been in talks for roles in the film, and now The Wrap has reported that Frances Conroy may be joining them.

The actress, best known for her stellar work in Six Feet Under and American Horror Story, is in talks to play Penny, mother of the man who would become the Joker. Further details are being kept under wraps, but last week, That Hashtag Show ran a character description from a source which gives a few more details, provided that you take them with a grain of salt. "Supporting Female (60-74) Caucasian. Lower class, very attractive in her younger days, still feels that way about herself," reads the possible description. "But recently her health has started failing, and she’s nearly bedridden in her Lower East Side apartment which she shares with her grown son who just moved back home. She’s obsessed with her former employer and can’t believe that this is what her life has come to, that she has ended up here, like this…" Interesting.

As for Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz, should they sign on, De Niro would play "a talk show host who is somehow instrumental in the Joker’s origin," and Beetz would play a "single mother who catches the interest of the man who will become the Clown Prince of Crime." Production on JOKER is slated to kick off this September in New York under the direction of Todd Phillips (THE HANGOVER), and the studio has described the project as an "exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale." The budget will fall somewhere in the $55 million range, which will allow the film to be "darker and more experimental in tone and content."

After months of playing it coy, Joaquin Phoenix was finally able to comment on playing the Joker and recently revealed that the project "scares the f**king shit" out of him.

I take a lot of time and consideration when making decisions and what I’m gonna work on always. So, in some ways, the process, which is obviously reading a script and meeting a filmmaker and then continuing to have meetings and discussions with Todd [Phillips]. I think he’s very impressive and he seems to have a very interesting understanding of this world and what he’s trying to say. And so there is something very appealing about that and working with him on this particular project. It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the f**king shit out of me or something. It might as well be the thing that scares you the most.

JOKER will hit theaters on October 4, 2019.

Source: The Wrap

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