Joaquin Phoenix’s Multi-Million Salary For Joker 2 Revealed
Joaquin Phoenix is certainly a great actor, as he won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in Joker. Now reports are indicating what his salary will be for Joker 2.
There’s not a whole lot going right for DC movies lately – even Zack Snyder’s Justice League is facing criticism – but one bright spot has been Joaquin Phoenix and his Oscar-winning portrayal of the iconic Batman villain Joker. Now, with Joker 2 currently in development, Warner Bros.’ DC Entertainment is going to have to rob a bank to pay Phoenix to reprise the role, according to a report in Variety. In a report about current actor salaries, the industry trade states that DC will have cut a check for $20 million to bring Phoenix back as Arthur Fleck for the comic book sequel. Even though director Todd Philips has written a script and posted the working title (Joker: Folie à Deux) on Instagram back in June, Joaquin Phoenix has not officially signed on. That could mean his salary is still under negotiation, and with fans clamoring for the sequel, DC would be wise to lock down their star before his rates rise even more.
Even without Joaquin Phoenix signed on, the movie seems to be moving forward as if he will sign. Word broke in mid-June that Lady Gaga was in talks to play Harley Quinn in the sequel and that the film would be a musical. In any other circumstance, making a comic book film a musical would be the kiss of death, but in the hands of Todd Philips, it could be a masterstroke, especially if Lady Gaga is indeed on board. Folie à Deux translates into “madness for two,” so music could be used to frame the relationship between Harley and the Joker. It would certainly play into Joaquin Phoenix’s strengths as an actor if Arthur Fleck’s madness embraces singing to cling to reality. The first film used music effectively to portray Arthur’s state of mind, and it could certainly play a big part in Joker 2.
Given the success of the first Joker, and the buzz surrounding the sequel, it appears Warner Bros., the parent company of DC Entertainment isn’t afraid to open the checkbook for Joaquin Phoenix, Lady Gaga, and other big names. According to an exclusive report last month by Giant Freakin Robot, Al Pacino is reportedly in talks to join the film as well. His role is not yet known, but it would be a coup for Todd Philips to add yet another iconic Godfather actor to the film series. Robert De Niro, as you’ll remember, had a memorable role in the first film, but for obvious reasons, won’t appear in Joker 2.
A $20 million paycheck for Joaquin Phoenix isn’t as outlandish as some may think, even though he only earned $4.5 million to make the first film. As Variety pointed out, $20 million is a sort of benchmark amount for marquee actors, even in a down economy. Jim Carrey was the first to be paid $20 million back in the 1990s for The Cable Guy. If Phoenix also manages to negotiate a cut of the profits, it could be far higher. Tom Cruise is estimated to make close to $100 million with revenue sharing after the smashing success of Top Gun: Maverick. The first Joker film, released in 2019, earned over $1 billion worldwide, despite an R rating. Winning an Oscar for Best Actor for the role certainly adds a premium as well, so there’s no good reason why Phoenix’s salary demands for Joker 2 couldn’t be met. DC Entertainment has already paid out $15 million to Jason Momoa to bring him back for the Aquaman sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, so large salaries don’t seem to bother them. You can click here to read Giant Freakin Robot’s report of all we know about Joker 2 so far.