Ever since Joaquin Phoenix dazzled viewers as the Clown Prince of Crime in 2019’s Joker, fans have been clamoring for a sequel. Directed by Todd Phillips, the film was originally supposed to be a standalone story. But after critical and commercial success Phillips began hinting at follow-ups. At the time a report by The Mirror even said the film’s star, who initially felt Joker was a standalone movie, saw the potential for more stories and was being offered $50 million to return. And, despite the controversies that came with the first release, he was eager to reprise his role.
The film, which followed the origin story of Batman’s most famous arch-nemesis, earned Joaquin Phoenix an Academy Award for his efforts. Overall, the movie received 11 nominations at the 2020 Oscars and became the first R-rated movie to earn more than $1 billion worldwide. Two years later, the studio is still quite serious about getting a sequel off the ground. A report by Puck News, examining the corporate shuffling at Warner Bros. Discovery, said movie bosses are getting pretty close to green lighting the project.
Since Todd Phillips is directing and co-writing the Joker sequel, it’s possible that he’s already settled on a story and has a completed script ready to go. However, Warner Bros. has yet to officially announce the Joaquin Phoenix-led project. The news also comes after rumors about Phillips taking on a larger role within DC’s realm of movies began to surface. According to Comic Book, CEO David Zaslav wants the Joker director to serve as an advisor on the entire DC slate. This is not surprising since the pair have developed a great working rapport over the last few years.
With all the pieces falling into place, it’s been difficult not to ask Joaquin Phoenix about the movie. Speaking to The Playlist last October, the 47-year-old wasn’t too forthcoming about the Joker Follow-up. He said they tossed around ideas while filming the first movie, but stopped short of confirming any serious plans for a sequel. “I mean, I dunno. From when we were shooting, we started to… you know. This is an interesting guy,” he told the publication.
Joaquin Phoenix added that there are a lot of things the creative team could do with the character. But, at the time, he wasn’t sure if it would happen. Eight months on, the movie is supposedly in the tentative stages of development, with fans curious to see what Phillips will do with the story. Social media chatter suggests that fans are eager to see Joker fight a version of Batman, even though Bruce Wayne was a child during the events of the first movie. The idea of Willem Dafoe playing a second Joker in the sequel also stirred up a lot of excitement, when the Spider-Man actor tossed the concept around during an interview with GQ.
Meanwhile, Joaquin Phoenix has a few other projects in the works. He stars as Napoleon in Apple TV’s upcoming historical drama of the same name. Directed by Ridley Scott from a script by David Scarpa, the story chronicles the French leader’s rise to power. He will also appear in the horror-comedy Disappointment Blvd alongside Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, Kylie Rogers, Parker Posey, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Hayley Squires, Michael Gandolfini, Zoe Lister-Jones, and Richard Kind. The film is scheduled to be released later this year.