When it first came out Joker was a very different kind of comic book movie. Instead of focusing on the origins and spandex of the popular superhero crowd, the film went in an entirely different direction with a story about the Clown Prince of Crime and the descent into madness we see from one of the truly iconic villains of our time. Well, just as unexpected as the original movie’s success was, we are getting a rather unexpected sequel. Joker 2 is happening and according to ScreenRant, they are bringing back some of the folks from the original for the next film in what could be a looming franchise.
According to this latest report, Todd Phillips is already at work penning Joker 2 after having written and directed the original. The previously comedic director took this Joker story in a way that was almost a referendum and commentary on his own career, making a movie about a dude trying to be funny who simply can’t pull it off. What ends up happening in a slow march into madness for the titular character as he becomes pushed out further into the edges of the social fabric and repeatedly pushed onto the margins before snapping.
With Phillips set to return to Joker 2 we also know that Joaquin Phoenix will be back in the main role. He was another unexpected addition to the comic book movie universe, but obviously, this film was less about the illustrated pages and story and more about making a movie about the madness that just happened to be about an infamous character. Phoenix was fully bought into everything there was about Arthur Fleck in a performance that was so off-putting but creepily accurate. How he ends up maybe working into a broader superhero-type film with real on-screen adversaries remains to be seen, but presumably, this next film would begin to explore that.
Whether Joker 2 has the same success as the original remains to be seen even with the lead and the head creative back in the mix. That film was a true critical and box office success that is still hard to wrap your head around. Considering just how different a movie it ended up being, divergent from other comic book fare, it still performed like one of the best the genre has to offer. Joker pulled in over one billion dollars at the box office on its $70 million budget. That makes it one of the most successful movies of all time.
With critics and the awards crowd, it was a smash as well. Sitting at a solid 68% on Rotten Tomatoes is a fine score. But Joaquin Phoenix also took home the Oscar for Best Actor. And it was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay among others. Can Joker 2 repeat that same kind of run through the industry? It feels tough but getting these guys back is the first step.
There’s currently no set timeline for when we will get Joker 2 on the big screen. It’s likely to be at least a couple of years. But when it does hit, it could set up to be another franchise builder going forward, especially if they expand the character’s universe some.