[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “Joker.”]
Following the blockbuster $96 million debut of “Joker” at the domestic box office, the biggest question facing Warner Bros. is whether or not a sequel will go into development. Director and co-writer Todd Phillips shot down a potential “Joker 2” last month when he told IGN, “We have no plans for a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that’s it.” However, leading actor Joaquin Phoenix isn’t so bluntly closing the door on a sequel. In a video interview on “Popcorn with Peter Travers,” Phoenix said he can’t stop thinking about the “Joker” role and what the future might bring.
“You know, I wouldn’t have thought about this as my dream role. But now, honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it,” Phoenix said. “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.”
Travers mentioned that Phoenix expressing interest in a “Joker” sequel marked a huge departure for the actor. The Oscar nominee famously turned down an offer for Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” movie because it meant signing a multi-movie deal.
“I don’t know that there is [more to do],” Phoenix said. “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.”
Moviegoers who saw “Joker” over opening weekend know the story sets up a potential “Joker 2.” The climax of the film is a riot incited by Joker that leaves Thomas and Martha Wayne dead. In the world of Phillips’ “Joker,” the villainous character indirectly puts young Bruce Wayne on a path to becoming Batman. Would a sequel pit Phoenix’s Joker against the Dark Knight? Robert Pattinson is playing Batman in a 2021 tentpole directed by Matt Reeves, although Phillips has said a crossover with Phoenix and Pattinson is not planned.
“Joker” is now playing in theaters nationwide.