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(Credit: Warner Bros.)

Film

What can we expect from Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker 2’?

@Russellisation

In a cinematic landscape congested with superhero movies, the release of Todd Phillip’s Joker in 2019 was a breath of fresh air, reminding audiences that not all genre flicks had to be full of bright blue lights and ‘epic’ CGI-filled set-pieces. Reframing Batman’s iconic villain as an anti-hero struggling with mental health problems, Phillips painted an entirely new cinematic vision of the character that was welcomed with open arms.

Earning 12 Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Actor, Joaquin Phoenix walked home with his long-awaited Oscar after having been nominated three times before. Celebrated both critically and commercially, grossing over $1 billion worldwide, Joker became an international sensation, proving that there were still legs in the once-tired superhero genre. 

Ever since the success of the movie, fans have been clamouring to find out if there is a sequel planned for the Oscar-winner, with director Todd Phillips finally confirming the new film in an Instagram post on June 7th 2022. Though, with some time to go until we get the sequel in cinemas, let’s look into what we can expect from the new subversive superhero movie. 

What will Joker 2 be about?

Todd Phillips’ Instagram post gave very little away about the brand new film, merely confirming its existence by showing the cover of the script and revealing the name of the movie, Joker: Folie à Deux. Translated into ‘Joker: Shared madness’, this new title gives us several clues as to where the Joker sequel could head, despite Phillips giving new plot details. 

Suggesting by the film’s title, that the new film will deal with a shared delusion, this could be a clue that we will see Joker’s partner in crime Harley Quinn enter the scene. Due to DC’s casting musical chairs, it’s difficult to know who we could see playing this role, with Margot Robbie currently flourishing as the character after successful appearances in The Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey.

We also know that, based on Todd Phillip’s comments at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) that the film would not follow Batman in any way, despite him showing up as a child in the original 2019 movie. Although he may show up in a similar cameo role, the new film would serve to function as a continuation of Arthur Fleck’s (AKA the Joker) story, and his alone. 

So, the introduction of Harley Quinn is certainly one way the sequel could go, but there is also another route. 

Speaking in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Phillips suggested that the Joker that we see in the 2019 movie may not actually be the Joker who becomes Batman’s arch-enemy, being more of a precursor to the villain himself. “There’s a lot of ways you could look at this movie,” he said of the original film, adding, “You could look at it and go, ‘This is just one of his multiple-choice stories. None of it happened’… A lot of people I’ve shown it to have said, ‘Oh, I get it — he’s just made up a story. The whole movie is the joke. It’s this thing this guy in Arkham Asylum concocted. He might not even be the Joker’… Maybe Joaquin’s character inspired the Joker. You don’t really know”. 

With no specific details yet to be confirmed, you can take our predictions with a large grain of salt. 

Who will star in Joker 2?

So, much like we don’t know the details of the sequel film’s plot, we similarly don’t know who will feature in the new movie, aside from Joaquin Phoenix who has been pictured reading the script for Phillip’s sequel. Being his Oscar-winning role, we imagine that Phoenix will be chomping at the bit to get back to the character, particularly after we left him on such a promising cliffhanger.

With Phillips already explaining how Batman won’t be appearing in the new movie, we can also say with some degree of certainty that Robert Pattinson or Ben Affleck won’t be appearing in the movie as the caped crusader. Staying separate from the main canon of DC movies, it’s also a little unlikely we’d see Margot Robbie take on the role of Harley Quinn (if we see the character at all) with this privilege being handed to a new actor entirely. 

Given the character’s insanity, we wouldn’t put it past him to see some flashbacks towards his fantastical friend Sophie Dumond, played by Zazie Beetz, or even Murray Franklin, played by Robert De Niro, who Fleck murdered at the end of the 2019 movie. 

(Credit: TIFF)

When will Joker 2 be released?

It should be clear by now that we don’t know a whole lot of certainties about Joker 2, with only the script being confirmed to have been complete, though even then we don’t know if it’s in its final draft.

With no news as to a pre-production date or a filming date, we’d predict that the new film will be released in October 2024, though don’t quote us on that. With plenty of DC movies to be released between now and then, including Black Adam, Aquaman 2, The Flash and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Warner Bros will be in no rush to shove out a sequel to Joker, particularly when they will be surely aiming for Oscar success once more. 

Perhaps, by the time it hits cinemas, the superhero genre will be hitting yet another slump, making it the perfect remedy to shake up the system.