For as long as Joker was in production, post-production and even throughout most of its release campaign, director Todd Phillips maintained that his film was a one-and-done situation, designed from the ground up to be a single-serving dose of everyone's favorite villain rather than a full-blown franchise launcher. Time and again we heard this - it was, in fact, one of the more interesting things about the movie - but as time's gone on, and as Joker has raked in over one billion fucking dollars at the worldwide box office, it's seemed less and less likely that Phillips and company might hold to that promise.
Now, in a new interview with the LA Times, Phillips suddenly sounds a lot more open to the idea of a Joker sequel than he was before, suggesting that it could very well happen...assuming they find the right way into the material. What's the "right way"? Says Phillips:
“It couldn’t just be this wild and crazy movie about the ‘Clown Prince of Crime.’ It would have to have some thematic resonance in a similar way that this does. Because I think that’s ultimately why the movie connected, it’s what’s going on underneath. So many movies are about the spark, and this is about the powder. If you could capture that again in a real way, that would be interesting.”
That sound you hear is a dump truck filled with money, backing into Todd Phillips' driveway and dumping its payload there.
Seriously, though: could a Joker sequel work? Sure, I guess so. The version I'd kinda want to see is the "crazy movie about the 'Clown Prince of Crime'" version, but I suppose it's possible they could do something much more in the vein of Joker and make it work. Couldn't be that hard: you'd just find the thematic material you want to explore, figure out which Martin Scorsese movies you'll directly lift the structure from, and baby you got yourself a Joker 2 goin'.
On a tangential, personal, borderline intimate note: this website's taken some grief for not being nice to Joker (this, despite the fact that I once combed through the archives and discovered that the majority of our coverage was almost entirely up-the-middle), but without taking a formal poll I'd reckon that roughly half of the BMD staff genuinely enjoyed Phillips' film. I wasn't a fan on my first viewing, but was recently talked into giving the film another go by my endlessly patient wife, and was stunned to discover that I liked Joker a helluva lot more on my second viewing than I did on my first. Admitting as much will probably get me yelled at for some reason, but I'll say this: if Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix make another Joker movie, I'll definitely show up and see it.
How about you? Into another Joker movie? Not so much? Think this decision's motivated by money, or think there's some gas left in that tank? Sound off in the comments below, but please try to keep your voices down.