Nov 20, 2019 10:10 PM PST
The Todd Phillips-directed Joker has already set box office records as the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time as it just passed the $1 billion mark, and it also had the biggest opening weekend ever for a movie released in October. Now, Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as the titular character is generating some serious Oscar buzz, and a new report claims that a sequel is already in the works.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros already had sequel options in place for the actor ahead of the film’s massive success. And now, the studio is negotiating with Phillips for him to return to direct the Joker sequel. But, there are conflicting reports about Warner Bros. already having sequel options in place with Phoenix.
The sequel talk did start before the film was even released. When Phoenix and Phillips were doing their press tour ahead of the premiere, the question of a sequel came up more often than not. And, Phoenix also revealed that he brought up the topic on the set when they were making the film.
“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.’ It was kind of in jest — but not really.”
If there is a sequel, it won’t include a Batman storyline since Matt Reeves is already tackling that in his upcoming film The Batman, which will star Robert Pattinson and is scheduled for a June 2021 release.
Instead, the plot will most likely explore more of Arthur Fleck’s story – just as Phoenix suggested – because not only has that proved to be a winning box office formula, but a character study as opposed to a CGI-filled action movie is much more profitable.
it’s hard for me believe that arthur and joker are the same person. i can’t imagine arthur saying or doing the things that joker says and does without the makeup. joaquin phoenix played two completely different characters in joker, & he did a phenomenal job. give him an oscar 🏆 pic.twitter.com/8GFjoKtala
— 𝖌𝖗𝖆𝖈𝖊 🃏 (@arthxrflxck) November 13, 2019
Warner Bros. gave Phillips a $60 million budget for Joker, which is just pennies compared to what they invested in Aquaman and The Dark Knight, not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars Marvel has invested in their cinematic universe.
Both critics and fans have praised Phoenix’s performance in Joker, and the Oscar buzz is all over social media. The 44-year-old has been nominated three times before for his roles in Gladiator, Walk the Line, and The Master, but he has surprisingly never won.
This could be Phoenix’s year, but he will have some serious competition, which could possibly include Adam Driver and his performance in Marriage Story, Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and Robert De Niro in The Irishman.
Oscar nominations will be announced on January 13th, and the 92nd Annual Academy Awards will take place on February 9th.