Though these quotes are a bit of a pivot from what everyone was saying before the film’s release, one thing does seem certain: If Phoenix and Phillips were to come back, it almost certainly would be to further explore Arthur Fleck. The idea of Joker versus Batman is not something Phillips has expressed interest in. Like, at all.

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As many of you now have seen, the film ends in a very open-ended manner, with Fleck ultimately embracing the comic book persona fans have become familiar with over the years just before the credits roll. There’s certainly much more that could happen from there. Plus, there’s even a popular theory that, because Bruce Wayne is so young in the film, Fleck isn’t the “real” Joker but merely the inspiration for an even more horrible person. So, if Phillips and Phoenix wanted, that idea of Fleck inspiring someone else could be a way to dovetail Fleck’s story with a version of the Joker that does meet up with the Caped Crusader. They could have their cake and eat it too.


All of that is purely speculative, of course. It also ignores the moral and social issues the film has brought up for many people—issues that even the studio itself seemed sick of dealing with as it would not let the press do interviews at Joker’s premiere. Money is great, but making a Joker sequel may not be worth it for the amount of negative press it would surely generate. On the other hand, shouldn’t artists be free to create their work, no matter what the reaction?

As you can tell, this idea is much bigger than making a simple sequel. It’s also worth noting that, though Phoenix made these encouraging comments recently, they don’t really mean anything. He could change his mind. He could backtrack. Anything is possible. The only real information on whether a Joker sequel will happen is surely flowing through Warner Bros. and the offices of Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips as we speak. However, while the idea of a sequel at first seemed unlikely, now it’s just a little less so.


Joker is now in theaters.

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