Zazie Beetz in Talks to Join Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Joker’

“Deadpool 2” star could play a single mother who catches the Joker’s eye

Last Updated: July 19, 2018 @ 5:12 PM

With a release date now set for Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker,” the cast is starting to take form as “Deadpool 2” star Zazie Beetz is in talks to join the cast, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.

While story details are being kept under wraps, it has been previously reported that the origin story for Batman’s nemesis will be more of a mid-budget crime thriller than a superhero blockbuster, and that it will be based at least loosely on the origin story for the character depicted in Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke.”

Beetz is said to be in talks to play a single mother who catches the attention of the Joker prior to his transformation into the nihilistic Gotham City villain. In Moore’s version of the Joker’s origins, the villain was an unnamed failed comedian who struggles to make ends meet for his pregnant wife. When his wife is killed in a freak accident and a robbery he is forced to take part in disfigures his face, the comedian snaps, becoming the infamous Joker.

Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow will co-produce the film, with Todd Phillips directing. Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Richard Baratta, whose producing credits include Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” are attached as producers. The film will be released on October 4, 2019, with production set to begin in New York in September.

Beetz is also set to star in Season 3 of the hit FX show “Atlanta” as well as Steven Soderbergh’s next film, “High Flying Bird.” She is repped by The Gersh Agency.