Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t seem like the kind of actor who would be interested in making sequels, but a recent comment he made suggests one is very possible for his most recent flick, Joker. The film just became the highest-grossing Rated-R movie of all time, something the actor and director Todd Phillips had absolutely no idea would happen. Phoenix recently caught up with the Los Angeles Times and talked about sequels, giving some Joker fans hope about a second film.
“Long before the release or before we had any idea if it would be successful, we talked about sequels. In the second or third week of shooting, I was like, ‘Todd, can you start working on a sequel? There’s way too much to explore.’ It was kind of in jest — but not really,” the actor said.
Phoenix saw major potential in the character of Arthur Fleck and felt there was more to the story and the person than had been portrayed in any Batman movie before. Slap on the $878 million the film has made in the box office so far, not too mention the Oscar buzz and critical acclaim, a sequel to Joker seems like a better idea than ever.
“I basically said, ‘You could take this character and put him in any movie.’ So I did a photoshoot with the on-set photographer and we made posters where I Photoshopped Joker into 10 classic movies: Rosemary’s Baby, Raging Bull, Yentl… [laughs] If you see it, you’re like, ‘Yeah, I’d watch that movie.’ Yentl with Joker? That would be … amazing!” the actor also noted in his interview.
Joker follows the story of Arthur Fleck before he became the Joker, so it was nothing DC Comics fans had ever seen of the character before in the movies. The movie essentially follows a man, and not a supervillain, who is deeply disturbed and suffering from several mental illnesses. This gave Phoenix more range and more to work with as he portrayed the man and not the Clown Prince of Crime most people were expecting. His comment regarding the possibilities being endless is absolutely right when looked at from that aspect. Since Arthur became the Joker at the end of the film, that also left open for a sequel that would likely dominate the box office as well.
In a separate interview with the LA Times, Phillips remembered the movie posters his star had created and mentioned that Phoenix even had one made for The Hangover, Phillips’s most popular comedy film.