DC movie fans and mainstream moviegoers alike are all excited for Joker, the upcoming origin story of Batman's greatest nemesis, which is being directed by The Hangover's Todd Phillips. It would be an understatement to say that Phillips was an unlikely pick for a director to bring the first Joker origin story to the big screen, but if all goes well, it's sounding like he do it a second time!
In an interview with Total Film Magazine, Todd Phillips let it be known in no uncertain terms that he would be willing to come back for a Joker sequel under one clear condition: Joaquin Phoenix would have to be game for it:
“One thing I will tell you: I would do anything with Joaquin, any day of the week,” Phillips said. “There’s nobody like him. If he was willing to do it, and if people show up to this movie, and Warners came to us and said, ‘You know what? If you guys could think of something…’ Well, I have a feeling that he and I could think of something pretty cool.”
That's a pretty coy director's speak, but it nonetheless says a lot without directly saying anything at all. Clearly Phillips and Phoenix had a good working experience making Joker, if the director's high praise is anything to judge by; not every director achieves such creative synergy with the eccentric actor. More importantly, while Phillips is very measured in how considers Joker's chances of getting a sequel, he does kind of hint that he and Phoenix have already done some of the creative legwork on Joker 2 ideas.
Phoenix himself echoed those same kinds of sentiments, during a recent interview:
"I wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre," Phoenix explained. "I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a … It feels unique, and I think more then anything, and probably the most important thing, is Todd seems very passionate about it and very giving, and so that’s exciting. I think, underneath the excitement of these films, and the size of them, there are these incredible characters that are dealing with real life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn’t, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied. And so I think that’s what Todd sees appealing about this idea."
Synopsis: "Joker centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale."
The Suicide Squad is currently scheduled for release on August 6th, 2021. Other upcoming films featuring DC characters include Shazam! on April 5th, Joker on October 4th, Birds of Prey on February 7th, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th, 2020, and The Batman on June 25th, 2021.