Though it was never really designed to spawn sequels, Todd Phillips’ Joker has now grossed over $900 million worldwide and you have to assume most everyone involved wants this story of Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck to continue.While talking to the LA Times’ The Envelope, Phoenix and Phillips spoke about what it might take for them to return for more, and that they’d even started musing about a follow up during production.
“Long before the release or before we had any idea if it would be successful, we talked about sequels,” Phoenix stated. “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.’ It was kind of in jest — but not really.”
Phoenix also clarified, however, that he never signed up for the film because of sequel possibilities. “I wouldn’t just do a sequel just because the first movie is successful,” he explained. “That’s ridiculous.”
“I guess the fear was that you’d get locked into doing something repeatedly that you don’t really care about, that doesn’t motivate you or excite you,” Phoenix said. “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.”
Phillips then mentioned the types of chats he and Phoenix had about a hypothetical Joker 2. “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.”
“I think the reason why [Joker is] resonating is what’s going on underneath the movie,” Phillips said. “So many movies are about the spark, and this movie is about the powder. If you could capture that again in a real way, that would be interesting.”
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IGN reviewed Joker positively when it hit theaters, awarding Todd Phillips’ supervillain origin movie a perfect score. Joker is now the highest-grossing R-rated movie at the worldwide box offices, edging out Deadpool 2. Ryan Reynolds even sent Warner Bros. a congratulatory Tweet to celebrate. Joker will be available to stream on HBO Max in May 2020. Matt Fowler is a writer for IGN and a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler and Facebook at Facebook.com/MattBFowler.