Todd Philips’ Joker should have a sequel if only it’s even more bizarre and etching than its predecessor(s)
The most famous antagonist in the world, Joker finally got the spotlight he deserved in his 2019 standalone movie, Joker. Starring Joaquin Phoenix the movie made over $1 billion at the box office and the rumours of its sequel have been there ever since. Director Todd Philips always intended Joker to be a standalone feature, the talks of its sequel were just speculations inspired by its huge success. Now seems it’s about time, DC’s Clown Prince of Crime return to the big screen with Joker 2.
Joker – The Legacy
A Joker standalone movie was always a part of WB’s plans. The original actor to plat the part was Jared Leto who debuted as the agent of chaos in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. However, the movie failed due to the studio’s meddling and Leto’s interpretation wasn’t well received. Hence, WB moved on to Todd Philips to take up the project and he went on to cast Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role.
What Philips did was exceptional he took the most unpredictable DC villain and gave us a peek into his mind. Rather than a ‘superhero movie’ Joker was a case study with a much needed commentary on mental health. The psychological thriller was totally bizarre but unique. A complete shocker for fans that left them rooting for Arthur Fleck. Phoenix’s performance brought never seen before nuance to Joker. The performance was critically acclaimed and got the actor an Oscar.
Furthermore, in the most surprising turn of events, earlier this year Leto redeemed his iteration of Joker in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Snyder made it a point to show us the Joker having a ‘truce with Bruce’ in the Knightmare sequence. He even went on to finally canonise the famous ‘we live in a society’ meme.
Playing Joker isn’t an easy task. Historically, each actor had found it difficult to completely get away from the chaotic (for the lack of a better word) headspace of the Joker. One of the reasons that no actor before Leto played Joker twice. Now Phoenix is set to walk in his footsteps. While Leto just shot a scene, Phoenix has a whole movie to shoulder.
Nonetheless, his performance uplifted the last movie and fans expect nothing less from the next one. So it is not surprising that WB might be looking forward to bringing the staircase dance back to the screen.
What do DC fans have to say?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has started the production of the sequel, Phoenix will reprise his role and the script will be co-written by Phillips, who co-wrote the first film as well. The news says, “Todd Phillips struck a deal to co-write the next Joker instalment”.
Though the fans went crazy after the announcement, now they stand divided. A faction fans feel a sequel is not necessary and should not be made. While others are happy to the brink ad eagerly wait for the grandeur to unfold on the big screen. The entire debate concludes on a single point, now that we know the origin story seque only makes sense if there is anything new to be discovered. Otherwise having a sequel is a waste of time and might backfire.
The 2019 psychological thriller has set the bar so high that it is onerous for any movie to get even close. And, unless the Joker sequel surpasses or at least match the bizarre level of its predecessor, it’s pointless. And mind you making Joker is no easy feat, Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder – each live-action director has added to jewel to the crown of The Crown Prince of Crime. So, Philips and Phoenix have a LOT to live up to!
Several sides could be discovered in the sequel. Since the movie ended on several open notes. TV host Murray being shot on live TV, Bruce Wayne witnessing his parents being shot by a Joker masked rioter, and the entire city in chaos. It has got several permutations that may be explored in Joker 2.
With Joker returning to screen may see the arrival of Batman too. For that, the movie has to be set somewhere down a decade when Batman would be present to fight all the crimes in Gotham. The movie might take a deeper dive into the traumatic childhood of Arthur Fleck and might explore some romantic relationships too, which were left aside in the origin story, apart from his imagination.
Neither the cast nor the plot can be confirmed about the movie as of now. We all are equally in the pool of speculation, and sitting tight for even another shred of information. Even if the movie is on its way, a wild guess would be by the end of 2023.