Though it was originally conceived as a standalone film, it seems that Joker‘s director now has some ideas for a follow-up. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has signed Joker’s co-writer and director Todd Phillips to pen a sequel to the 2019 comic book film.
The prospect of a Joker sequel was floated by Phillips around the time of its release. In December 2019, Phillips had said that there were no current plans for a follow-up but voiced his belief that Warner Bros. was giving him time to come up with an idea.
“Well there was [that push] even before Joker came out. A movie does that kind of business and became that beloved around the world – they had talked to us about it,” Phillips said. “Joaquin [Phoenix] and I had spoken about it anyway as far back as when we were shooting the movie. But in all honesty we haven’t gone any further on it. Even Warner Bros. hasn’t. I think they’re just giving us time, and if we can figure it out, and if Joaquin’s down to do it, we would do it. But we haven’t gotten near that yet.”
Phillips has also stated that he would not return for a Joker sequel unless he could find “some thematic resonance in a similar way that [the first movie] does.”
A large question mark with the prospect of a Joker sequel is Joaquin Phoenix’s return to the role. While the actor has largely avoided long-term franchise attachments throughout his career, Phoenix has stated that he is open to the idea of a sequel.
“I talked to Todd a lot about what else we might be able to do, in general, just to work together, but also specifically, if there’s something else we can do with Joker that might be interesting,” Phoenix said. “I don’t know that there is [more to do]. Me and Todd would still be shooting now if we could, right? Because it seemed endless, the possibilities of where we can go with the character.”
Phillips has also stated that Phoenix would be integral to a Joker sequel. “One thing I will tell you: I would do anything with Joaquin, any day of the week.”
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Joker was a massive success for Warner Bros. when it released in October 2019. The film became the first R-rated movie to gross over $1 billion worldwide, as well as the most profitable comic book film of all time. The film went on to garner 11 Oscar nominations, winning in the categories of Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Best Original Score.
In our review of Joker, IGN gave the movie a 10, praising “Phoenix’s fully committed performance and Todd Phillips’ masterful albeit loose reinvention of the DC source material.”
J. Kim Murphy is a freelance entertainment writer.