Joaquin Phoenix’s Clown Prince of Crime is officially returning for Round 2, as director Todd Phillips, who steered 2019’s “Joker” to a Golden Lion victory at Venice and a Best Actor Academy Award for Phoenix, just posted about the sequel to Instagram.
The working title for the new film? “Joker: Folie à Deux,” an appropriately pretentious title for the sequel to possibly the most pretentious comic book film ever made. The director, previously best known for his comedies such as “The Hangover,” also included a photo of Phoenix apparently reading the script, which, like the original, is written by Scott Silver and Phillips himself.
“Joker,” the sixth highest-grossing film of 2019, was the first R-rated movie ever to gross over $1 billion worldwide. By most measures, it’s the most profitable comic book movie ever, with a budget somewhere between 55 and 70 million dollars and a final worldwide gross of $1.074 billion.
The film not only won Phoenix the Best Actor prize at the 92nd Academy Awards but Hildur Guðnadóttir the Best Original Score statuette for her moody, string-heavy music. The film received 11 Oscar nominations overall.
With the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, it’s believed there’s been a general reassessment of Warner Bros.’ overall management of their films based on DC Comics. “Joker,” which, love it or hate it, and IndieWire’s David Ehrlich certainly hated it, did try to do something different with the superhero genre by aiming for a Scorsese-inflected character study of a sad sap turned supervillain, is inarguably the jewel of Warner Bros.’ recent comic book offerings. Only Patty Jenkins’ 2017 “Wonder Woman” and Matt Reeves’ 2022 “The Batman” have come close to the box-office hauls and critical acclaim.
It’s not believed that there will be any crossover with Reeves’ “Batman,” which starred Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader. That movie actually introduced its own version of The Joker, in a shadowy cameo at the end of the film, in which the villain, played by Barry Keoghan, offers some words of comfort to Paul Dano’s Riddler. But hey, anything can happen…
Dante Pereira-Olson played young Bruce Wayne in Phillips’ film, and the director has said that he would like to say what Batman becomes in the particular Gotham he envisioned.