With Warner Bros. Pictures’ standalone Joker film set to begin production sometime this year, word is arriving quickly of potential casting announcements.
According to The Wrap, Frances Conroy is in talks to play Penny; a character said to be the mother of Joaquin Phoenix’s proto-Joker. His character will also be involved with a single-mother reportedly played by Deadpool 2‘s Zazie Beetz, who is also in talks to join the cast of the Todd Phillips directed film.
The project, a standalone work from the DC Films universe of Wonder Woman 1984 and Shazam! will explore the background of the generally nameless — though the 1989 Batman name of “Jack Napier” was declared cannon at one point — Clown Prince of Crime. Said to take place in a 1980s era Gotham, the film may draw heavily from the origin story glimpsed in Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke. The project is also said to be a more contained comic book movie with a $50 million budget.
Which may be why Robert DeNiro is reportedly interested in playing a talk show host in the film. Reports indicate the character “play a role” in the Joker’s origin. Considering the film is supposed to be more of a character piece than an action extravaganza, maybe DeNiro spotted a juicy character to play for the first time in a long while. Or, like many veteran actors, a child or grandchild convinced him to do it.
Joker is not yet scheduled for release.
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