Joaquin Phoenix hints he'd be interested in a 'Joker' sequel

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (Credit: Warner Bros)

Joker has already broken box office records following its release last weekend, becoming one of the highest-grossing R-rated movies of all time.

With that in mind, Warner Bros would likely bite the hand off director Todd Phillips for a sequel.

And it sounds like Joaquin Phoenix, who plays the unravelling stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck, who will become Batman's nemesis, could be persuaded to do it all again.

Read more: Horror over Gary Glitter song in new Joker movie

Speaking to veteran Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers on his Popcorn podcast, he said: “You know, I wouldn’t have thought about this as my dream role. But now, honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it.

“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.”

He went on: “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.”

That all sounds like good news for fans, of course, but it doesn't necessarily chime with what Phillips is thinking.

Asked by Entertainment Tonight last week whether there was likely to be any scope for a sequel, he was pretty emphatic.

“No,” he said. “We really like that this movie lives on its own.”

(Credit: Warner Bros)

Phillips has also quashed any talk of a possible crossover with Matt Reeves' forthcoming The Batman, in which Robert Pattinson will play a young Bruce Wayne.

Speaking last month, Phillips told Variety: “No. Definitely not. Oddly, in the states, comic books are our Shakespeare it seems, and you can do many many versions of Hamlet. There will be many more jokers, I’m sure, in the future.”

While some have hailed the movie – it won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival – others have found it rather more problematic.

Read more: Joker makes £200 million on its opening weekend

The New Yorker's Anthony Lane wrote: “I happen to dislike the film as heartily as anything I’ve seen in the past decade, but I realize, equally, that to vent any inordinate wrath toward it is to fall straight into its trap, for outrage merely proves that our attention has been snagged.”

Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson also called it 'deeply troubling', describing it as 'irresponsible propaganda for the very men it pathologizes'.

Its portrayal of an angry loner who becomes violent, in the wake of the epidemic of mass shootings in the US, resulted in the families of the victims of the cinema shooting in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012 to pen a letter to Warner Bros calling for it to consider its 'social responsibilities'.

The movie is out now.