Joaquin Phoenix in 2019's 'Joker' courtesy of Warner Bros.

Joaquin Phoenix in 2019's 'Joker' courtesy of Warner Bros.

Todd Phillips’ 2019 DC movie ‘Joker’ was a huge success. Not only did it make more than $1 billion at the global box office, but it was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning two, including Best Actor for star Joaquin Phoenix.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that studio Warner Bros. let slip to The Hollywood Reporter that a sequel is in development, with Phillips returning and Phoenix back as the main character.

According to Heroic Hollywood’s sources, Phillips has handed in the sequel’s first draft screenplay to the studio and the new movie should be shooting in 2023. We’d caution that this is more rumor than anything else just yet, since Warner Bros. has yet to officially announce this forward movement. But then, studios aren’t in the habit of revealing their movies until everything is signed and sealed.

As it’s at such an early stage, there are no details about the story for the new movie.

Though Phillips’ original movie seemed like a longshot (and indeed, the studio had to be convinced that it was the right way to go with the character), it certainly paid off in both profit and awards (along with its Oscars, it took home a variety of other trophies).

The story of that first film, in case you need a refresher, offered a new spin on Batman’s most famous arch nemesis – one in which the Caped Crusader doesn’t actually appear beyond a small cameo from a young Bruce Wayne, played by Dante Pereira-Olson.

Joaquin Phoenix in 2019's 'Joker' courtesy of Warner Bros.

Joaquin Phoenix in 2019's 'Joker' courtesy of Warner Bros.

Unlike Zack Snyder’s use of Jared Leto for ‘Zack Snyder's Justice League’, this Joker exists outside of the DC Extended Universe of movies, which means that other comic book characters such as Superman and Wonder Woman are unlikely to ever face him. That said, Warner Bros’ expanding use of the multiverse to crossover between characters means that nothing is off the table in future.

‘Joker’ was a dark and gritty movie more in the style of a Martin Scorsese crime film than even Christopher Nolan’s vision for Batman. It’s the story of Arthur Fleck, a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society.

A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night… But finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events.

Alongside Phoenix, the cast included Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham.

The Hangover’s Phillips wrote the movie’s script with ‘8 Mile’s Scott Silver, and from the looks of the new report, they’ve reunited for the sequel.

Phoenix always came across as less likely to come back, but Warner Bros. cannily included a standard sequel option in his contract, so assuming the movie goes ahead, he’ll be back in the make-up next year ready to be Arthur Fleck once again.


"Put on a happy face."
R2 hr 2 minOct 4th, 2019