In a recent report published by The Hollywood Reporter, the industry insiders offhandedly mentioned a sequel to Todd Phillips’ Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix was currently in development.
Rumours surrounding such a project have been in circulation ever since its critically and commercially acclaimed release back in 2019. After all the dust and controversy had settled, the film had countless award nominations to its name – cleaning up at the BAFTAs, earning Phoenix an Academy Award for Best Actor – as well as storming the box office and successfully captivating the cultural zeitgeist.
“When a movie does $1 billion and cost $60 million to make, of course it comes up,” says Phillips.
“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.”
Late last year, Warner Bros. had apparently opened negotiations to court Joaquin Phoenix for a return as Arthur Fleck / the eponymous Joker, offering what many believe to be a staggering $50 million payday for not one Joker sequel, two whole films to complete the trilogy.
As previously noted, the most surprising aspect about this development isn’t the dollar-figure itself but Phoenix’s own interest. Having once turned down the role of Marvel’s Doctor Strange due to the ongoing commitment it would entail, his experience with the DC release may have left a meaningful impact for the better.
“Joaquin initially felt Joker was a standalone movie,” an insider tells The Mirror.
“But he’s changed his tune now. He says he wants to play this character again, despite the controversies that came with the release last year… It’s still being negotiated but the scripts are being written and Joaquin is very engaged with it.”
I suppose we’ll simply get what we fucking deserve.