Report: Frances Conroy to Play Joaquin Phoenix's Mother in 'Joker'
WENN/Adriana M. Barraza

The 'American Horror Story' star is reportedly in negotiations to join the 'Her' actor in the standalone project, which will be directed by Todd Philips.

AceShowbiz - Warner Bros. is seeking actors for upcoming "Joker" origin movie. The studio eyes Frances Conroy to play Joker's mother Penny in the standalone project. An insider tells TheWrap that the Golden Globe winner is in talks with the executives of the studio.

Joker's mother is described as a 60-74-year-old Caucasian woman who is sick and lives in an apartment in Lower East Side with her son Joker, who just moves back in. She is also obsessed with her former employer and she struggles to accept her fate. Before Conroy came to discuss the role, "Burn After Reading" actress Frances McDormand was offered to take the role but she later turned it down due to an unknown reason.

In addition to Conroy, Robert De Niro is reportedly in talks with Warner Bros. to play a supporting role in the upcoming project. According to The Hollywood Reporter, if a deal is made, the "Taxi Driver" actor will play a talk show host. Meanwhile, "Deadpool 2" star Zazie Beetz is in negotiations to play a single mother who attracts Joker's attention before he becomes a villain in Gotham City.

While Joaquin Phoenix is set to play Joker, Todd Philips, who is known for his work on "The Hangover", will helm the movie. "The Wolf of Wall Street" producers Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Richard Baratta will produce the project along with Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow. The production will begin in September in New York.

"Joker" story will take place outside DC Universe, marking the first release of non-canon DC adaptations. However, it was previously reported that the film would be based on Alan Moore's "Batman: The Killing Joke" graphic novel. In Moore's version, Joker is an unnamed engineer who quits his job to become a stand-up comedian only to fail miserably. Afterward, he is involved in a criminal plan to help his pregnant wife. The film's plot details are still kept under wraps though.

"Joker" is set to be released on October 4, 2019 in U.S. theaters.

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