Joker director Todd Phillips has spoken to Joaquin Phoenix about a sequel more than once. The movie became an unexpected blockbuster, grossing over $1 million at the global box office. Any expectations that the director, studio, or Phoenix had were shattered in a matter of weeks. The success came after a wave of negative publicity and worries from comic book fans that Phillips had no idea what he was doing with one of the most iconic villains in history. In the end, Phillips and Phoenix had the last laugh.
So, will we ever get Joker 2? This has to be the question that Todd Phillips is more than likely sick of answering since it gets brought up all of the time. However, he seems to have no problem answering it and even teases that a sequel is definitely possible, though it would have to break new ground in order for he and Joaquin Phoenix to jump back in the saddle. He had this to say when asked recently.
"When a movie does $1 billion and cost $60 million to make, of course it comes up. But Joaquin and I haven't really decided on it. We're open. I mean, I'd love to work with him on anything, quite frankly. So who knows? But it would have to have a real thematic resonance the way this one did, ultimately being about childhood trauma and the lack of love, and the loss of empathy. All those things are really what made this movie work for us, so we'd have to have something that had an equal thematic resonance."
Joaquin Phoenix admitted to wanting to do a Joker sequel before they were even finished shooting the first movie. "In the second or third week of shooting, I was like, 'Todd, can you start working on a sequel? There's way too much to explore,'" said Phoenix. "It was kind of in jest -- but not really." The actor was so into the process that he had a number of movie posters made, each taking on a different movie that his Arthur Fleck character could tackle.
Now that Joker has been out for a while and people have made their own opinions, a sequel could go over really well. There's a wealth of material for Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix to tackle, but should they? We're left with a mystery that really doesn't need to be solved. Is Arthur Fleck really the Joker by the end of the movie, or is it all in his head? In the end, further exploration could ruin everything the first movie set up.
As for revisiting Gotham, Todd Phillips recently admitted that he'd love to see someone make a Batman movie in his version of Joker's Gotham. While DC and Warner Bros. probably aren't into the idea of casting another actor and doing an offshoot, at least at this time, it would probably be huge, just like Joker. Regardless, we'll just have to wait and see what Phillips decides to do next. The interview with the director was originally conducted by Deadline.