Article by Carl Bryan
As a fan, and recent viewer of the Joker movie, it’s evident that Warner Brothers has a hit on its hands. Joker is the highest grossing R-rated movie in history and has earned some $850 million worldwide to date. After my son viewed it, he called me and asked “Have you seen this? This really could happen!” So it begins… but is Joaquin Phoenix ready for it to carry on? Will there, or should there, be a Joker sequel?
According to Josh Rottenburg of the LA Times, Phoenix has never appeared in a sequel to anything. According to the actor, the expectations were that this was not going to be a multi-picture deal:
Part of the whole attraction to me [of Joker] was there was no expectation. I didn’t sign a deal to do [more movies]. It was a one-off.
But what now?
Still, Phoenix – whose turn as troubled would-be comedian, turned murderous super-villain, Arthur Fleck, has landed him at the heart of this year’s best actor Oscar race – insists he and Phillips would never do a follow-up simply because Hollywood logic demands it.
I wouldn’t just do a sequel just because the first movie is successful. That’s ridiculous.
Again, my son in his phone call indicated “I want to know the kind of Batman that exists in this world that this Joker exists.” By the box office success of this Joker, it appears that others may want that too!
Can we dream?
Can you insert this Joker into any movie? Darn right you can!
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… If you see it, you’re like, “Yeah, I’d watch that movie.” Yentl with Joker? That would be … amazing!
Todd Phillips also spoke to the L.A. Times about the possibility of a Joker 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.
Some have argued that Fleck was actually in Arkham Asylum the entire time, and merely imagined the whole narrative as a twisted form of wish fulfilment. Others believe that Fleck isn’t the actual Joker, a character who has never had a single definitive origin story, but instead served as the inspiration for the Joker as we’ve come to know him. This is a theory to which Phillips himself has given some credence.
Phoenix says that, at least as he sees it, Fleck is indeed the Joker, but he welcomes alternative takes. To him, it’s those ambiguities that make the film worthwhile.
There was something that was great about the mystery of it. Todd and I talked a lot about how this is one of the few opportunities that you have where people don’t expect to know the definitive truth of the character – and not only that, they probably don’t want it. Usually the demands of the movie are the opposite. I said, “We have to take advantage of that.” Why would we not?
However the Joker sequel theories pan out, fans do want to see this Joker come face to face (again) with an older Bruce Wayne in the form of Batman. Here’s hoping that Phoenix gets an Oscar for his efforts. Maybe that and proceeds from this movie will be enough for him to return to a role that he provided an iconic take on, just as well as Heath Ledger did!
Images May Be Subject To Copyright