As Joker nears one billion dollars in sales, a sequel feels inevitable. Director Todd Phillips has always said this is a standalone film, but Joaquin Phoenix is trying to convince him otherwise.
It's no surprise that the thoughts and opinions on Joker across this site have been different.
People in the editorial department have loved it, hated it, or thought it was morally irresponsible, but one thing that we all had in common was that we went to the theater and paid to see it.
I went twice. So Joker has thirty of my dollars.
This financial success got everyone talking about what could happen next for this antihero...
Joaquin Phoenix Leading the Charge for a 'Joker' Sequel
Todd Phillips has always described this movie as a one-off. And I think the poignancy there is undeniable. The film left us understanding and even empathizing with him and loving the chaos he inflicts on the world.
The idea that this would be the only film in the series was also attractive to the star.
Joaquin Phoenix told the Los Angeles Times,
“I guess the fear was that you’d get locked into doing something repeatedly that you don’t really care about, that doesn’t motivate you or excite you...Part of the whole attraction to me [of ‘Joker’] was there was no expectation. I didn’t sign a deal to do [more movies]. It was a one-off.”
So why all this talk of another Joker film?
Phoenix assured the Times they wouldn't do one just for the money.
But he also said there was a depth to this character and he wanted to dig deeper.
“I basically said, ‘You could take this character and put him in any movie,’ So I did a photoshoot with the on-set photographer and we made posters where I Photoshopped Joker into 10 classic movies: ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ ‘Raging Bull,’ ‘Yentl ...’ If you see it, you’re like, ‘Yeah, I’d watch that movie.’ ‘Yentl’ with Joker? That would be … amazing!”
This is a hilarious gag and I hope they release them someday.
Even Todd Phillips admits it definitely made his day.
“I definitely remember the ‘Yentl’ one...Another one was ‘Forrest Gump.’ ‘The Hangover’ was even one of them.”
These are funny, but they did spark something in the director.
While it is clear Joker is an homage to King of Comedy and Taxi Driver, it's good to know how Phoenix saw the characters in other worlds. That gave Phillips some insight and made him have a reason to pursue the idea besides money.
Phillips told the Los Angeles Times,
“We haven’t talked about it a ton....We’ve only talked about the fact that if we ever did one — and I’m not saying we are because right now we’re not — it couldn’t just be this wild and crazy movie about the ‘Clown Prince of Crime.’ That just doesn’t interest us. It would have to have some thematic resonance in a similar way that this does. Because I think that’s ultimately why the movie connected, outside of all the noise and mishegoss of the last month and a half. I think the reason why it’s resonating is what’s going on underneath the movie. So many movies are about the spark, and this movie is about the powder. If you could capture that again in a real way, that would be interesting.”
I definitely think the idea of them tackling the themes of big 70s movies is really fun and might be an excellent compromise between commercial viability and artistic integrity.
You can be almost certain the studio would greenlight it.
For now, there is no official announcement, but it seems like if they decide there's a story worth telling, they'll come back ready.
And Joaquin already has the posters ready to go.