Joker 2: Joaquin Phoenix Says There are "Some Things" They Could Do, Unsure About Return

Is Joker 2 actually happening? And will Oscar-winning Joker star Joaquin Phoenix come back for the sequel? It's a pretty legitimate question, as the news about Joker 2 has been somewhat confusing in the last year or so. Warner Bros. has reportedly been pushing for a Joker sequel after the first film made over $1 billion and the box office and won two Oscars (Best Actor and Best Composer); director Todd Phillips has similarly admitted that he's had ideas for Joker 2 and is reportedly working on a script. And yet, that all said, a Joker sequel hasn't yet felt like a concrete reality... 

Speaking with The Playlist, Joaquin Phoenix gave the following statement on Joker 2

"I mean, I dunno. From when we were shooting, we started to —you know, uhh, this is an interesting guy. There are some things we could do with this guy and could [explore] further. But as to whether we actually will? I don't know."

That's interesting, as previous rumors pointed to Warner Bros. offering Phillips upwards of $50 million for two more Joker movies. The interviewer goes on to describe that while Phoenix basically admits that he doesn't know any concrete details about the Joker sequel, the actor is also unwilling to let it be assumed he would never return for a franchise sequel. In fact, when it is suggested that he wouldn't 'do that sort of thing' in the interview, Phoenix responds by coyly asking with a smile,"What kind of thing? Interesting character, interesting movie?" 

Therein lies the bind that most DC Entertainment fans echo along with Phoenix, Phillips and so many others: is Joker really the kind of movie that lends itself to a sequel? 

The entire purpose of the first Joker movie is to give Batman's iconic nemesis an "Esleworlds" style origin story about how a struggling comedian becomes an anarchistic figurehead in clown face. The film both aped the cinematic styles of classic tragicomedy films like Scorsese's The King of Comedy, while also using The Joker character as a metaphor for some of the more frightening realities of what's churning in the underbelly of modern society. It worked well when Warner Bros. downplayed the DC Universe stamp and marketed Joker as an awards season indie drama; the moment you slap a "2" on the next film, all that "cinema" cred is gone, and you get just another comic book movie franchise. 

...Or do you? The Joker character mystique has always been the unreliability of the villain's biography. That uncertainty (or DC Comics projects like Three Jokers) is a rich foundation for Phillips and Phoenix to get creatively wild with ideas for a Joker sequel. They could tell an entirely different origin story, introduce rival Jokers, do their own in-universe take on other Batman lore... 


What would you like to see? 

Joker is streaming on HBO Max.