Joker has proven to be a box office success as it nears the $1 billion mark globally. With that kind of success, talks of a sequel were inevitable. For Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips, talk of Joker 2 started while they were shooting the first installment. Phoenix thought that there was still a lot more to explore in the new world that they created for the Clown Prince of Crime. In a recent interview, the actor shed some light on the subject. He explains.
"Long before the release or before we had any idea if it would be successful, we talked about sequels. 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.' It was kind of in jest -- but not really."
When watching Joker, there is a sense of finality to it, which was done on purpose. Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix knew the movie would do well, but not many would have predicted just how far it has gone at the box office, with Joker becoming the biggest R-Rated movie ever. Even with the thought that the movie would be a one-and-done type of deal, Phoenix still came up with some intriguing ideas as to where the sequel could go. Phoenix had this to say about his Joker sequel ideas.
"I basically said, 'You could take this character and put him in any movie.' So I did a photo shoot with the on-set photographer and we made posters where I Photoshopped Joker into 10 classic movies: Rosemary's Baby, Raging Bull, Yentl... (laughs) If you see it, you're like, 'Yeah, I'd watch that movie.' Yentl with Joker? That would be... amazing!"
Joaquin Phoenix was excited for a Joker sequel at the time of shooting the first installment. But, he went through a lot physically and emotionally to pull off the performance and would more than likely have second thoughts about revisiting Arthur Fleck. Todd Phillips remembers the sequel posters that Phoenix had made, but says there are no official plans to make another one. Here's what Phillips said when asked about a potential sequel.
"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."
While Todd Phillips says there currently are no plans to make a Joker sequel, one can bet that the entertainment industry will go in and try to replicate the movie's tone and success. Like anything that is done well, there will be imitators, but Phillips believes he and Joaquin Phoenix could return for another movie, if they had the right idea. The director had this to say.
"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."
Recapturing what makes Joker special would be pretty hard to do. The movie came out at the right time and pushed the right buttons. While some comic book fans were unsure of a new take on the iconic villain's origin story, that skepticism has, for the most part, dissipated. Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips let everybody know right from the start that this was not going to be an ordinary comic book movie about the Clown Prince of Crime. It's going to be very interesting to see the impact that Joker has made on the comic book movie genre in the future. The interview with Phoenix and Phillips was originally conducted by The Los Angeles Times.