A Joaquin Phoenix 'Joker' sequel would ruin its eccentric, indie feel, making it just another franchise film
What sets 'Joker' apart from other comic book movies is the eccentric, indie feel of the project and turning it into yet another movie franchise would certainly ruin that
Joaquin Phoenix's 'Joker' is easily the most anticipated comic book movie of the year, even though it takes very little inspiration from the actual comic books. So it's quite understandable that a lot of people were hoping the movie might eventually turn into a series of films or even a shared universe of its own. The film's director Todd Philips made a comment back in August that stirred up rumors of a potential sequel but he has now clarified there are no plans to expand on 'Joker' or connect it to other DC movies.
"It's so annoying. You say one thing and it becomes the story for 24 hours," Phillips told GameSpot. "The quote was, 'I will do anything Joaquin wants to do.' And I would. But the movie's not set up to [have] a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that's it. We have no plan for a sequel. We made this movie, I pitched it to Warner Bros. as one movie, it exists in its own world, that's it. It's not about worldbuilding, it's not about other versions, it's like, here's our version of the origin story, that's it. That's what I meant."
"I don't see [Joker] connecting to anything in the future," Phillips added. "This is just a movie." While fans of the Joker and especially of Joaquin Phoenix's rendition of the character are bound to be a little disappointed by Phillips' statement, the decision to not turn 'Joker' into a film series makes perfect sense from an artistic point of view.
What sets 'Joker' apart from other comic book movies is the eccentric, indie feel of the project and turning it into yet another movie franchise would certainly ruin that. We don't mean to say 'Joker' shouldn't be able to spawn more movies.
In fact, Phillips himself had pitched an idea to DC to create a new label along the lines of the publisher's 'DC Black' imprint of books that focuses on telling mature, sophisticated stories based on popular characters. While DC was reportedly not that taken in with the idea, that might change once 'Joker' comes out, especially if the movie does as well at the box office as has been predicted.
The world definitely has space for more complex, nuanced stories like 'Joker' and if DC does eventually go ahead with the proposed label, it is sure to allow filmmakers to do some exceptional work with the publisher's inventory of characters. But that said, simply turning this one film into a franchise, while profitable, would take away from the artistic quality of the production and it's probably best that 'Joker' stands alone, at least for now.