When director Todd Philips helmed Joker and Joaquin Phoenix accepted to play the titular role, the plans were to keep the DC standalone feature a single film without future installments. But then the film ended up being a blockbuster that became a favorite of critics and DC fans alike, grossed big bucks at the box office, and earned eleven Academy Award nominations (of which it won two). This obviously triggered talks about Joker 2 following up and continuing the tragic journey of Arthur Fleck. But so far, there have been no official announcements and even Joaquin Phoenix appears to have confirmed that currently there are no solid plans to continue telling the Joker’s story.
Recently, Joaquin Phoenix engaged in a chat with The Playlist wherein the Oscar-winning actor was asked about the status of the much-anticipated Joker 2. Unfortunately, like fans of the surprise DC hit that was released back in 2019, Phoenix too has no idea what is happening with the potential sequel. Joaquin Phoenix clarified that while he would love to revisit the character again, he can’t confirm that it will actually happen.
I mean, I dunno. From when we were shooting, we started to —you know, uhh, this is an interesting guy. There are some things we could do with this guy and could [explore] further. But as to whether we actually will? I don’t know.Joaquin Phoenix
While the actor may or may not be bluffing his way out of confirming the sequel, this is not the first time when Joaquin Phoenix has expressed the desire to reprise his iconic character as the Clown Prince of Crime in a potential Joker 2. In 2019, soon after the release of Joker, the actor appeared on Popcorn with Peter Travers and admitted that his role as Arthur Fleck was certainly a “dream role” in his career. He shared that he had chatted with Todd Philips about exploring the character further as the new ways in which they can revisit the character are “endless.” This comment from Joaquin Phoenix came right after Philips explicitly clarified that his plans for Joker were limited to the film itself as he didn’t make it in a way that would lead to a sequel. The film was not about “worldbuilding” as its story, its characters, and its setting are not connected to the larger DC Extended Universe (DCEU)
But since then, it has been reported multiple times that Todd Philips is indeed working on Joker 2 starring Joaquin Phoenix. The Hollywood Reporter went so far as to claim that the sequel had received the green light in November 2019, only for the report to be debunked by Deadline, which stressed that no such negotiations were being made. The warring reports prompted Todd Phillips himself to come forward and clarify the doubts. In a chat with IndieWire, the director explained that while there is no Joker sequel in the works, the idea is definitely there. He shared that he has discussed the same with Joaquin Phoenix and Warner Bros. executives, though no contractual obligations to make a sequel exist.
The most recent update about Joker 2, in May 2021, also came from THR which noted in its report about the recent activities Hollywood lawyer Warren Dern client list that “Todd Phillips struck a deal to co-write the next Joker installment.” Though since then, no official or rumored report has refuted or confirmed Joker 2, given the fact that Phillips, Joaquin Phoenix, and Warner Bros. are all interested in making a sequel, its future doesn’t seem all that uncertain.