Earlier today, it was reported that Joker 2 is moving forward. Now, it looks like those talks may be premature. Joker is still in theaters and earning money as it continues to soar past the $1 billion benchmark at the worldwide box office. It looks like Joaquin Phoenix still isn't done talking about the first movie yet, let alone moving onto the next one

Joaquin Phoenix is breaking his silence on why it took so long for him to agree to a comic book movie in the first place. The actor stars in the massively successful Joker, which is currently in theaters. The wild new take on The Clown Prince of Crime has been widely praised for taking an iconic character and giving fans something new and gritty. However, playing Arthur Fleck was far from the first comic book movie Phoenix has been offered over the years.

When it comes to taking on his roles, Joaquin Phoenix will pretty much do anything. "I'm open to anything - I will consider a live-action version of Road Runner," says Phoenix in a new interview. When it came time to think about superhero movies, it wasn't the stories that the actor was opposed to. Instead, his aversion to the genre had to do with the mechanics behind-the-scenes. He explains.

"I remember, like eight years ago, I was told, 'Movies are changing. They're not making the movies that you want to make, so you've got to do one of these.' It makes sense. It probably is a good strategy. But for me, 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."

It took Joaquin Phoenix four months to finally say yes to Joker. He had passed on numerous comic book roles in the past and wasn't even sure if his first time into the genre was going to be a success. "I don't think I expected this movie to be successful," he says. "I don't know if I had any expectation. Honestly, Todd and I were just trying to make something that didn't end our careers." Joker is not ending anyone's career. Todd Phillips had this to say about why he wanted Phoenix in the role of Arthur Fleck.

"There's a little wildness in Joaquin's eyes. I jokingly say he seems like an agent of chaos. He likes blurring the line between what's real and what's not. Just based on what I'd seen of him in movies or on TV doing interviews, there was something about that chaotic nature that just felt right."

While Joker is technically a superhero movie, it is done in a completely original way that sets itself apart from the rest of the pack. Joaquin Phoenix delivers a powerful performance that almost brought him to the brink of madness. As for saying yes to Joker, it had everything to do with Todd Phillips' vision for the story. "Most movies feel so rigid; every moment is designed," Phoenix says. "This felt like it was untethered and without a blueprint."

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Within the comic book genre, Joker is "without blueprint," as Joaquin Phoenix says. That's more than likely why the actor wanted to explore the character and bring the story to the big screen. Now, fans are wondering if Phoenix will be back for Joker 2, which he is not opposed to. There have been rumors swirling for weeks about a sequel, but nothing has been confirmed at this time, though it looks like Todd Phillips may be taking on other villain origin stories for DC and Warner Bros. The interview with Joaquin Phoenix was originally conducted by The Los Angeles Times.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick