Joaquin Phoenix may be delivering one final punchline. The Joker star revealed in a recent interview that he asked director Todd Phillips during filming to start work on a sequel – and in typical Clown Prince of Crime fashion, it’s not clear whether he was joking or not.
“Long before the release or before we had any idea if it would be successful, we talked about sequels,” Phoenix told the Los Angeles Times. “In the second or third week of shooting, I was like, ‘Todd, can you start working on a sequel? There’s way too much to explore.’”
But before we get too worked up about any Joker sequel talk, it’s worth noting that Phoenix may just be messing with us. He teased: “It was kind of in jest – but not really.”
Phoenix, though, is adamant that Joker’s box office – which is nearing a billion dollars, the highest of any R-Rated movie in history – won’t tempt him back for an encore. “I wouldn’t just do a sequel just because the first movie is successful,” he explained. “That’s ridiculous.”
The conversation around a Joker sequel has now shifted dramatically both pre and post-release. Phillips himself told sister publication Total Film that “if people show up to this movie, and Warners came to us and said, ‘You know what? If you guys could think of something…’ Well, I have a feeling that he and I could think of something pretty cool.”
He later walked that back and definitively said, “We have no plans for a sequel.”
Joaquin Phoenix’s latest quotes, however, may have fans wishing he and Phillips have one final ace up their sleeve when it comes to a possible Joker sequel.
Find out where Joaquin ended up on our list of the best Joker actors, ranked.