I liked Joker; I didn't love it. I'm more fascinated by what Joker represents for the future of cinema. I'm sure you've heard the chorus of filmmakers chiding Marvel for ruining movies and making it harder for smaller pictures to succeed. As a lifelong fan of superheroes and cinema, I'm of two minds on the situation.
On the one hand, Marvel feels the need to water down its properties to the lowest common denominator to fit the zeitgeist's interpretation of what a superhero movie is. Even though Shang-Chi: and the Legend of the Ten Rings was a wonderful celebration of Asian culture, as a die-hard fan of the comics, I have to tell you that we didn't actually get Shang-Chi movie. We got a film about a character that vaguely looks like Shang-Chi and shares his name, but nothing that speaks to the book's character, tone, or premise. An accurate Shang-Chi movie could've been the Asian equivalent of James Bond, but instead we got a formulaic Disney flick.
And on the other hand, artful and brilliant films that eschew superhero tropes struggle to garner an audience or financing comparable to Marvel's mediocrity. In my mind, Joker represents a bridge between the two worlds.
Let's be honest; Joker is just Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy that features a beloved character from a bankable IP in the driver's seat. I believe that if studios took this approach to more films, we might have peace in Hollywood. The critics could get their artistic cinema back, and casual fans could see their favorite mythic heroes and villains continue to dominate the box office. Imagine if the new Predator movie didn't just feature Indigenous Americans as the lead- that weirdly speak English for some reason- but chose to make an Apocalypto-style epic that just so happened to feature the Predator as an antagonist.
However, despite how innovative Joker is on a conceptual level, it's about to fall prey to one of superhero cinema's biggest pitfalls. Joker is getting a totally unnecessary sequel.
Director Todd Phillips officially confirmed that a sequel to Warner Bros.'s Joker is moving forward.
In a series of photos shared on Instagram, Phillips revealed not only the working title for the sequel to the original 2019 film — Joker: Folie à Deux — but that Joaquin Phoenix is already reading the script. Written by Phillips and Scott Silver, Joker: Folie à Deux does not have a release date. In terms of the working title, Folie à deux is a phenomenon in which two or more individuals, typically family members, experience an identical or similar mental disorder.
News of a Joker sequel comes after reports that greenlighting a sequel to Joker was a priorityfor the new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. When it was released in theaters in 2019, Joker grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the highest-grossing DC film ever. Meant to serve as an origin story to the infamous Batman villain, Joker is set in a self-contained universe meant to be entirely separate from films like Zack Snyder's Justice League and Matt Reeves' The Batman.