Joaquin Phoenix Is Open To Joker Return

Actor Joaquin Phoenix hasn’t ruled out another Joker appearance and/or a sequel. During a recent interview, Phoenix discussed the making of the film, and his collaboration with director Todd Phillips. Joker broke Venom’s October opening weekend box office record, earning $93.5 million in the U.S. during its first three days.

Joker was always intended to be a standalone film. The psychological thriller tells the origin story of Arthur Fleck, a DC Comics character who transforms into a Gotham City supervillain, and becomes Batman’s arch nemesis. For Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Night, the late Heath Ledger won an Oscar for his performance as the Joker, and Jared Leto portrayed the character in the DCEU’s 2016 film Suicide Squad. Phillips’ take on the character has been especially controversial, as many people have worried about how the film’s perceived ultraviolence could transfer to the real world. Joker’s mostly positive reviews and box office success suggest that a new film would be a logical next step, featuring a character reprisal from Phoenix.

Related: Why Joker's Critic Reviews Are So Divided

During an appearance on Popcorn with Peter Travers, Phoenix offered telling statements about what fans should and shouldn’t expect. Near the end of the conversation, Joker’s star addresses a viewer question about Arthur Fleck being a “dream role,” to which he responds with a simple “no.” But Phoenix then reveals that he “can’t stop thinking about it,” and goes on to discuss how he and Phillips have discussed what else they “might be able to do.” According to Phoenix, Joker ended up being a dream role, but he doesn’t know for sure if he wants to further explore the character. Still, Phoenix acknowledges that the possibilities seem “endless,” though he hasn’t considered sharing a scene with Batman. Check out the full clip below - Phoenix discusses a possible Joker reprisal at the 21:02 mark.

Set in 1981, Joker demonstrates how Arthur Fleck adopted a killing clown persona. Phillips has been vague about his final act storyline, which is an ideal way to keep people buzzing about a potential sequel. Over the past year, the controversy surrounding Joker has inspired different marketing tricks, and now that the film has performed well in theaters, executives will undoubtedly double down with strategic techniques aimed at both critics and general moviegoers. After winning the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, Joker’s marketing team used selects lines from negative reviews for promotional purposes - a meta strategy that aligns with the film’s title. 

If Phoenix does indeed want to star in a new Joker film, fans will naturally be curious about his preferred central storyline, and who else will be involved. Phillips’ film cites Martin Scorsese classics like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy with its societal commentary, but also features in-universe sequences involving none other than the Wayne family. Considering Phoenix’s usual preference to keep audiences guessing, it’s unlikely that he’d want to star in another Joker film set in the ‘80s, and featuring the same exact character look. But who knows - maybe that's been the plan all along.

More: Joker's Arthur Fleck Might Not Be the Villain's Final Incarnation

Source: Popcorn with Peter Travers

Key Release Dates
  • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
  • The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
  • DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
  • Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022
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