We may have found The Joker's mom. American Horror Story star Frances Conroy is currently in talks to star in the Joker origin movie alongside Joaquin Phoenix, who is already on board as the iconic DC villain. Frances Conroy will play a woman named Penny who is reportedly going to be sick and possibly dying during the events of the movie and has an obsession with her former employer. At the present time, it's unclear how sizable the role will be as plot details for the movie are being kept under wraps by the studio.
We previously reported that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star and recent Oscar-winner Frances McDormand was offered the role of Penny in the movie, which is simply titled Joker but turned it down. From one Frances to another, or so it would seem. Frances Conroy, in addition to her various roles on American Horror Story over the years has also starred in Six Feet Under, How I Met Your Mother and the recent TV adaptation of Stephen King's The Mist. She may not be as big of a name as McDormand, but Conroy has been in the business for a very long time and has a great deal of experience.
One of the actress' more interesting credits, as it relates to the Joker origin movie, is also set within the DC universe. Frances Conroy starred as Ophelia alongside Halle Berry in the maligned 2004 live-action Catwoman movie. With the talent involved in this Joker movie, we can only assume Warner Bros. won't make a total trainwreck along those lines. The cast, so far, also may include Robert De Niro and Deadpool 2 star Zazie Beetz, who are both currently in negotiations to star in key roles as well.
Todd Phillips, known best for his work on The Hangover trilogy, is directing with a script he wrote with Scott Silver, who previously penned 8 Mile and The Fighter. While The Joker's origin story has always been left intentionally vague by DC Comics over the years, it's been previously reported that this movie will take inspiration from Alan Moore's The Killing Joke, which sees the character as a failed comedian whose wife is murdered, leading him to become the villain we all know. Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy has also been cited as a supposed source of inspiration.
Production is set to begin in September, with Warner Bros. set to release the movie on October 4, 2019. Joker will be set outside the continuity established in the current DC live-action movie universe, meaning that Jared Leto's version of the character is still kicking around and will show up again elsewhere. Leto is currently developing his own Joker solo movie and he's also expected to reprise his role in Suicide Squad 2. We'll be sure to keep you up to date as more details on the project are made available. This news comes to us courtesy of The Wrap.