Joker star Joaquin Phoenix says he’s had talks with director Todd Phillips wondering if “there’s something else we can do with Joker that might be interesting,” suggesting an openness towards revisiting Arthur Fleck — the man behind the clown prince of crime — in a sequel. Phoenix has never done a sequel and Joker, set in a standalone continuity separate from studio Warner Bros.’ shared DC Extended Universe, was planned as a one-off. Phillips is on record saying no one involved has plans for a sequel — himself, Phoenix, or Warner Bros. — but the star says he “can’t stop thinking about” his failed comedian-turned-criminal.
“I wouldn’t have thought this is my dream role, but now, honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it,” Phoenix said on Popcorn with Peter Travers. “I talked to Todd a lot about what else we might be able to do, in general, just to work together, but also specifically, if there’s something else we can do with Joker that might be interesting. So, it ended up being a dream role. It’s nothing that I really wanted to do prior to working on this movie.”
When Travers questioned if there’s “more to do” with the character, Phoenix replied, “I don’t know that there is. Me and Todd would still be shooting now if we could, right? Because it seemed endless, the possibilities of where we can go with the character.”
In September — before Joker won the biggest-ever October opening with $96 million over opening weekend — Phillips told Jake Hamilton he and Phoenix “bounced around ideas” for another film despite never planning a sequel.
“Well, I don’t think we’re gonna make a second one. That’s just not in our plans,” Phillips said. “But for fun, have me and Joaquin bounced around ideas? We were doing it when we were shooting, because that’s what you do sometimes.”
Phillips previously told Total Film Magazine he would “do anything” with Phoenix, adding the pair could “think of something pretty cool.” When some interpreted those comments to mean the director and his star were open to a sequel, Phillips said his words were misconstrued.
During a Los Angeles screening, Phillips clarified neither he nor Warner Bros. have plans for a sequel. “The quote was, ‘I will do anything Joaquin wants to do,’” he explained. “And I would. But the movie’s not set up to [have] a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that’s it.”
Starring Phoenix, Zazie Beetz and Robert De Niro, Joker is now playing.