Director Todd Phillips intended Joker be a one-off with no connections to future Batman movies. There wasn’t even any plans for a sequel. But as they say, money talks.
Less than a week ago, the film officially became the most profitable comic book movie of all time. It’s now approaching $1 billion at the worldwide box office so naturally, a sequel would make sense from a financial standpoint. And Phillips would be interested. But only if the story made sense.
While speaking to The Los Angeles Times, he talked about what the follow-up would look like, saying:
“It couldn’t just be this wild and crazy movie about the Clown Prince of Crime. It would have to have some thematic resonance in a similar way that [the original] does. Because I think that’s ultimately why the movie connected, it’s what’s going on underneath. So many movies are about the spark, and this is about the powder. If you could capture that again in a real way, that would be interesting.”
You can tell by these comments that this was a passion project for Phillips and that he has no interest in a cash grab. Perhaps he learned his lesson after making two awful Hangover sequels?
Surprisingly, star Joaquin Phoenix seems to be more eager to do a follow up. He joked (no pun intended) with the director while making the film about continuing the story. He’s even called this a “dream role” and it must be if he’s willing to do more. After all, Phoenix has never done a sequel and he famously declined the lead role in Doctor Strange because he didn’t want to commit to multiple movies.
But between the positive reviews, box office success and potential Oscar nominations, Joker became a phenomenon. And for a third of the cost, it made more money than two other high profile DC movies: Justice League and Wonder Woman.
The ending of Joker certainly set up the possibility of a sequel, too, but if Phillips and Warner Bros. decide to continue this story, it sounds like they’re going to take their time to get it right.