Director Todd Phillips on 'openness' to 'Joker' sequel with Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker (Warner Bros.)
Joaquin Phoenix as Joker (Warner Bros.)

Todd Phillips has been speaking on how 'open' he is to a Joker sequel, following the runaway box office success of his first foray into the world of comic books.

While the movie eschewed spandex in favour of shocking violence and gritty, 80s New York anarchy, its solid R-rating didn't stop it making an eye-popping $1.063 billion (around £804 million) at the worldwide box office.

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And with a return like that, it hardly seems likely that Warner Bros will be walking away.

Director Todd Phillips, left, and cast member Joaquin Phoenix arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of "Joker" at TCL Chinese Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Director Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix (Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Phillips told Deadline: “When a movie does $1 billion and cost $60 million to make, of course it comes up.

“But Joaquin and I haven’t really decided on it. We’re open. I mean, I’d love to work with him on anything, quite frankly. So who knows? But it would have to have a real thematic resonance the way this one did, ultimately being about childhood trauma and the lack of love, and the loss of empathy.

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“All those things are really what made this movie work for us, so we’d have to have something that had an equal thematic resonance.”

Joaquin Phoenix in Todd Phillips' <i>Joker</i>. (Warner Bros.)
Joaquin Phoenix in Todd Phillips' Joker. (Warner Bros.)

That said, Phillips has also said in a separate interview with Indiewire that thus far 'there’s not a contract for us to even write a sequel, we’ve never approached Joaquin to be in a sequel'.

But Phoenix has gushed about how much he loved making the movie, which followed the disturbed stand-up comedian and party clown Arthur Fleck as he is pushed to the edge of sanity and into the abyss.

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As the seventh highest-grossing movie of last year, it's expected to feature in this year's Oscar nominations, and has received four nominations – including one for Best Motion Picture – Drama – at the Golden Globes, which take place on Sunday night.