A Joker movie sequel, with Joaquin Phoenix returning as the Clown Prince of Crime, could happen according to director Todd Phillips. In the past few years, Warner Bros. and DC Films have largely focused on a franchise of movies set within one universe - kicked off with Man of Steel and continuing through the likes of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. While that franchise, called the DC Extended Universe by fans, is continuing on, the studio is also releasing movies set in other universes, like Phillips' Joker.
In Joker, Phoenix plays a different Clown Prince of Crime than Jared Leto's version in Suicide Squad. As seen in the Joker movie trailer, Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck, a down-on-his-luck comedian who transforms into one of Batman's most iconic villains. The Joker cast is rounded out by Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz and Francis Conroy. Further, Joker premieres at the Venice International Film Festival later this month, proving it's aiming to be a much different kind of comic book adaptation than the typical superhero blockbuster. However, it appears the film isn't immune to the franchise treatment of superhero movies.
Speaking to Total Film, Phillips revealed there's certainly potential for a Joker sequel with both himself and Phoenix returning. However, it appears the follow-up would be dependent on whether those involved are willing to return and can come up with a good story. As Phillips implies, though, that shouldn't be too hard. He said:
"One thing I will tell you: I would do anything with [Phoenix], any day of the week. There’s nobody like him. If he was willing to do it, and if people show up to this movie, and Warners came to us and said, 'You know what? If you guys could think of something…' Well, I have a feeling that he and I could think of something pretty cool."
Like with most movie sequels, though, Joker 2 is reliant on the success of Joker. Warner Bros. is positioning Joker as more of a prestige film, holding its premiere at the Venice International Film Festival. It's unclear how Joker will fare with critics in Venice, but reviews will likely start dropping shortly after the premiere screening. Even if critics love Joker, it remains to be seen how general audiences will react to the movie, which has distanced itself a great deal from other comic book/superhero movies. Phillips even stated Joker has no comic inspiration, which could prove to be a good or bad thing - either offering a wholly new experience for viewers or alienating fans.
However, another point in Joker's favor is its reported budget of $55 million, which is on the cheaper end for a superhero movie. Further, it indicates the bar for financial success is lower than other comic book adaptations. While Joker may not be as universally appealing as DCEU or Marvel Studios movies, it doesn't need to gross $1 billion to be considered a success. That could go a long way when Warner Bros. is weighing the possibility of a sequel.
Still, as Phillips indicated, it's a little too early to be discussing how likely a Joker movie sequel is, since much of that speculation should be based on critic reviews, general reception and box office gross - none of which are available yet. However, with the movie premiering at the Venice International Film Festival later this month and hitting theaters in early October, it won't be too long before the studio and fans can start discussing the viability of a Joker sequel.
Source: Total Film
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
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