Since the popularity of Joker, there has been debate over whether or not the Joaquin Phoenix-led film requires and will receive a sequel. The film flipped the superhero villain’s origin tale on its head, removing the Batman mythos and the magical components that usually come with the territory in favor of a troubling psychological study of one of DC’s most iconic characters. Not only did the picture surprise everyone by grossing over $1 billion at the box office, but it also earned Phoenix an Academy Award for Best Actor, and now it appears that a sequel is in the works.
The idea for a Joker sequel was first floated in 2019, but there have been few developments on the project since then. With the Warner Bros.-Discovery merger causing many of the planned DC projects presently in development to fall through the cracks, there was every chance that Joker 2 would slip through the cracks. According to a story from Puck News, Todd Phillips is “coming pretty close on a Joker sequel.” While the story does not specify if this means a script has been completed or a contract with Warner Bros. has been reached, it is the most positive update on the project to far.
No matter how unnecessary a sequel may be, every billion-dollar film is immediately the subject of sequel negotiations. However, Joker was a standalone film that purposefully avoided any connections to other DC properties and made no allusions to a future tale. As a result, many fans believe the film should be left alone rather than trying to stretch it out into another chapter, which could end up damaging Arthur Fleck’s almost perfect transition into the Joker’s identity.
Additional rumors claim that Warner Bros. Discovery’s new CEO David Zaslav wants Phillips to serve as an advisor on the future DC slate of films, which could be an indication that Joker 2 is on good foundation. Although there appears to be much further to go before Joker 2 would go into production, it appears that it is now closer than ever to becoming a reality.
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On his Instagram account, director Todd Phillips shared two pictures: the first showing this cover page of this Joker sequel, and the second of Joaquin Phoenix reading the script. The movie’s working title is Joker: Folie à deux, the latter French term translating into English as “folly of two” or “madness of two.” It’s the name of a psychiatric syndrome referring to the sharing of delusional beliefs, and sometimes even hallucinations, between two people.
This news also arrives days after it was reported that Todd Phillips was asked by Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav to serve as an advisor for upcoming DC movies.