One report is claiming that Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is set to return and filming is projected to begin in 2023. The film’s co-writer and director Todd Phillips is also set to return and Warner Bros. has allegedly received a first draft of the script, according to an industry insider source.
Talks of a Joker sequel started up in May 2021 but things were still fairly uncertain. In October 2021, Phoenix was asked about the likelihood of a sequel to the 2019 film, to which he responded with “I dunno,” and continued on by saying, “From when we were shooting, we started to — you know, uhh, this is an interesting guy. There are some things we could do with this guy and could [explore] further. But as to whether we actually will? I don’t know.”
When it comes to comic book movies, it’s best to take rumors for what they are — just rumors. However, many DC fans believe that this year’s upcoming DC film The Batman — starring Robert Pattinson in his debut as a young Bruce Wayne/Batman — could actually be the film to set up a brand new Batman and Joker. Again, the comic book movie rumor mill operates 24/7 and there have even been rumors about The Batman actor Barry Keoghan being revealed as the new Joker.
I think it’s very unlikely that Keoghan will be Pattinson’s new arch nemesis considering that the new Batman film is also a vehicle to set up two spin-off series for HBO Max — one involving Keoghan’s character who is part of the Gotham PD and one highlighting Gotham’s criminal underworld through the lens of Colin Farrell’s Penguin.
However, I do think it’s very likely that Phoenix’s Joker will be the heel to Pattinson’s Batman. Both films were designed to be distinctly different than the DC Extended Universe films. As we all know by now, when there is a Batman, there will almost always be a Joker to participate in the endless (and undeniably classic) cat-and-mouse game that the two have played for decades.
Spider-Man: No Way Home actor and iconic on-screen comic book villain Willem Dafoe has even pitched his own idea for the Joker sequel, which involved Dafoe playing an imposter Joker opposite Phoenix’s Joker.
“There is something interesting about, like, if there was a Joker imposter. So it would be possible to have not dueling Jokers but someone that says to be the Joker that isn’t the Joker. And that kind of opens up the possibility of an interesting story, particularly if you had Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, and then you had someone who was either imitating or riffing off what he did. I fantasized about that. But other than that I am not talking to anybody [about it], you’re the first one.”
Even though we don’t know for certain if we are getting a Joker 2, hopefully this might bring you some sense of calm — the Joker has been done over and over again for decades. It might be time to hang up this old hat and explore other equally interesting DC villains.
Photo via Warner Bros.