Following the huge success of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, it’s natural for fans to wonder what could be next for the character – despite the fact director Todd Phillips has explicitly said he doesn’t want to do a sequel.
However, it turns out Phoenix has been trying to convince Phillips to continue Arthur Fleck’s story for some time, and at one point he got quite creative with his ideas.
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Phoenix said, “Long before the release or before we had any idea if it would be successful, we talked about sequels. 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.”
Phoenix said he would leave hints for Phillips about what the future could hold for Fleck, “I basically said, ‘You could take this character and put him in any movie.’
“So I did a photo shoot with the on-set photographer and we made posters where I Photoshopped Joker into 10 classic movies: Rosemary’s Baby, Raging Bull, Yentl … [laughs] If you see it, you’re like, ‘Yeah, I’d watch that movie.’ Yentl with Joker? That would be … amazing!”
Phoenix’s posters might have even been enough to convince Phillips to consider continuing the story, the director told the publication he remembered seeing the Yentl poster as well as one for Forrest Gump and one for The Hangover, which Phillips also directed.
Phillips said, “We haven’t talked about it a ton. We’ve only talked about the fact that if we ever did one — and I’m not saying we are because right now we’re not — it couldn’t just be this wild and crazy movie about the ‘Clown Prince of Crime.’ That just doesn’t interest us. It would have to have some thematic resonance in a similar way that this does.”
He added that he’s unsure he’d be able to recreate what made Joker so successful, “I think that’s ultimately why the movie connected, outside of all the noise and mishegoss of the last month and a half.
“I think the reason why it’s resonating is what’s going on underneath the movie. So many movies are about the spark, and this movie is about the powder. If you could capture that again in a real way, that would be interesting.”