As “Joker” inches ever closer to the coveted $1 billion worldwide box office benchmark (currently sitting at just around $995 million), it was inevitable that Warner Bros. would be interested in a sequel. How could the studio not want to at least explore the possibility? Well, from the beginning, director Todd Phillips has been opposed to the idea of revisiting the franchise, but as seen in a new interview with the LA Times, he could get swayed into coming back. However, it would have to be for something special.
In a new interview, both “Joker” star Joaquin Phoenix and filmmaker Phillips talk about the sequel. In the weeks leading up to and after the release of the film, both men have talked about sequels and how the film doesn’t really set up any sort of continuation of the story. But, with how Phoenix is receiving incredible buzz and will likely nab an Oscar nomination and Phillips is getting the most acclaim of his career, they’re both warming up to the idea of coming back for another go around.
“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,’” Phoenix said. “It was kind of in jest — but not really.”
Clearly, Phoenix, who isn’t the type of actor that would normally come back for a sequel, is interested. But if Phillips can’t be signed to return, then there’s no way the film would move forward. And for the director to be interested, “Joker 2: Joke Harder” (Hey WB, I’ve got more gold where that came from!) would have to be something unique and not just another superhero film.
“But it couldn’t just be this wild and crazy movie about the ‘Clown Prince of Crime,’” said Phillips. “It would have to have some thematic resonance in a similar way that this does.”
He added, “Because I think that’s ultimately why the movie connected, it’s what’s going on underneath. So many movies are about the spark, and this is about the powder. If you could capture that again in a real way, that would be interesting.”
Now, with what Phillips says, it would be difficult for “Joker 2” to have a similar “powder” story, unless it was a similar type of origin. So, that would be difficult, especially considering the film ends with Phoenix’s villain being pretty much fully realized.
That being said, this is Hollywood. And money talks. And “Joker” has made tons of money. Don’t be surprised if we see Phoenix and Phillips return for a sequel.