Despite its standalone nature, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker may spin out into a trilogy, as a new rumor suggests that Joaquin Phoenix has been offered a sizeable amount of money to put on a happy face for two back-to-back sequel films.
“Joaquin initially felt Joker was a standalone movie,” said the insider. “But he’s changed his tune now. He says he wants to play this character again, despite the controversies that came with the release last year.”
The inside further alleged that a timetable has been set for production on the sequels and noted that Warner Bros. has also courted commitment from Joker director Todd Phillips and producer Bradley Cooper:
“They plan to make two sequels in the next four years, with a long-term commitment to Joaquin and his Joker director Todd Phillips and producer Bradley Cooper,” offered the source.
They add, “It’s all about getting Joaquin,” – who signed on for the original film at the 11th hour – “to accept the terms – and the biggest payday of his career by far.” Said payday, which again, currently stands at $50 million.
Despite the fact that a sequel is “still being negotiated”, the source claimed “the scripts are being written and Joaquin is very engaged with it.”
The insider also revealed that Warner Bros. wants to have the sequels out by 2022 and 2024 respectively, which would place the next Joker film on the studio’s release schedule alongside The Flash and Aquaman 2.
Sequel talk began after Joker’s unexpected box-office success, a reception which shocked WB as much as anybody, and The Hollywood Reporter previously broke a story in November that Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver were working on a follow-up.
At the time, Phillips downplayed the report as just that – mere talk. “Well, a movie doesn’t make a billion dollars and they don’t talk about a sequel,” he mused to Indie Wire.
He would add that “Joaquin and I have publicly said we’ve been talking about a sequel since week two of shooting because it’s a fun thing to talk about.”
Phillips then repudiated the THR article and stated that “the article was referring to other things than that that were just frankly untrue,” he stated. “I don’t know how it gets started, if it’s some assistant trying to gain street cred with a writer.”
Joker grossed over $1 billion worldwide during its theatrical run, though WB didn’t make receive much in the way of profits due to the movie being produced through the investment of multiple parties.
The production of further Joker sequels could be a way for WB to recoup their financial losses will maintaining public interest in the character.
It’s also possible that Arthur Fleck may factor into the studio’s plans for the Multiverse post-Flash, but that’s another rumor for another time.
Would you go see a second Joker solo movie, let alone a third? Or is the joke on Warner Bros.? Leave us a comment.