With the film having recently secured a greenlight from Warner Bros. casting looks to officially be underway for DC's Joker origin film. However, it appears one big name that was approached for a role has opted to pass: Frances McDormand.
According to The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez, the Academy Award winning actress was offered the role of the Joker's mom in the upcoming Joker origin film. Ultimately, though, the actress is said to have passed and now the studio is back on the hunt for a "name" actress to fill the role.
DC NEWS NUGGET: Frances McDormand passed on playing Joaquin Phoenix's mom in Todd Phillip's UNTITLED JOKER ORIGIN movie. They want a name for the mom.— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) July 14, 2018
Earlier character descriptions hinted at the inclusion of a character named Penny, an old woman who’s bed-ridden. It's believed that this character, who is said to be "obsessed with her former employer, who might be responsible for her plight," is the role of the Joker's mother -- a role that would take over the importance of the comedian’s wife as the spark that ultimately births the iconic villain.
With filming on the $55 million dollar feature expected to kick off in September, it's more than likely we'll begin to hear more casting news relatively soon. Including whether or not Robert De Niro will join star Joaquin Phoenix as Murray Franklin, a mysterious character that is said to have a strong supporting in the Joker's origin story.
Reports of Phillips’ Joker origin film first surfaced in August 2017, when it was described as “a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film” set in early-1980s Gotham City. Produced by Martin Scorsese, and written by Phillips and Scott Silver (8 Mile), the project is rumored to explore The Joker’s backstory as a failed comedian, in line with Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s acclaimed Batman: The Killing Joke.