Joaquin Phoenix was a rather unexpected addition to the comic book movie ranks, but to be fair his contribution to the genre was rather unexpected as well. With Joker he and Todd Phillips created a whole new world and backstory for one of the most iconically villainous characters we have ever had. And now, according to our trusted and proven sources at Giant Freakin Robot, we have the exclusive that there are going to be many more stories in this world with Joker now planning on getting a trilogy of films.
The details on how this Joker trilogy will end up playing out are thin right now. We know that when the first movie ended, Joaquin Phoenix had completed a cinematic tour-de-force with his character Arthur Fleck as we watched him fully transform from disaffected failed standup comedian to murderous psychopath. It was a slow burn, uncomfortable at times, but also gave one of the first true looks at how the Joker could become the Clown Prince of Gotham. A trilogy of films, or the next two, would likely pick up somewhere after the events of the first (obviously) but could also begin to more concretely establish his place in Gotham but also the criminal underworld.
Another interesting aspect of this Joker exclusive is how they will deal with the larger DC character universe in this trilogy. We know that Joaquin Phoenix didn’t have to interact with any of that world in the first movie, choosing to strictly go with a bottled origin story, happy to ignore the bigger comic book world. That was partly because they were waiting to see how this movie fared; it was written just as a single film, not wanting to bring in any other legacy characters without knowing if the original movie would even land. But there also could be a situation in which this Joker just operates in Gotham for quite a bit of time before running into some of the others, most notably, Batman.
There had been some rumors a while back that when the Joker put out a sequel, one of the source material comic books they would draw on would be Batman: Three Jokers. That story is something of a spiritual successor to The Killing Joke and Death in the Family. All are Batman comics of course which would make the Caped Crusader a logical addition. But Three Jokers does have a theme that could be drawn out without Batman. It is a story in which Joaquin Phoenix wouldn’t be the only one in the clown paint, that there were others going by the Joker moniker as well. This would line up with the end of the first movie in which Fleck had inspired a bunch of others to act and look much the same way.
2019s Jokers was a massive (massive) success for Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips. On its $70 million budget is racked up more than $1 billion dollars at the box office. It is an astounding number, making it one of the highest-grossing comic book movies, currently ranking it 12th overall. Considering the size and scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other franchises, this is pretty amazing.
The Joker sequel is already in the works with both Todd Phillps and Joaquin Phoenix signed on to return. But now we can expect that this won’t be the last in the bunch, another movie will be on the way as well completely one of the more improbable comic book trilogies in some time.