Todd Phillips confirms ‘JOKER 2’ is in the works
The sum paid to Joaquin Phoenix for Joker 2 is not insignificant. The actor, who earned his first Academy Award for his work as failed comic turned criminal clown Arthur Fleck in 2019’s Joker, is allegedly close to signing a “hefty” agreement with director Todd Phillips to return for the sequel. Phillips posted an Instagram snapshot of Phoenix reading the script Joker: Folie à Deux, which he co-wrote with Scott Silver, on Tuesday. Phoenix read the Joker 2 script “a while ago,” according to Deadline, and “it has come down to forging a rich deal for him to feature in the genre-jumping sequel.”
The original Joker grossed $1.07 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time and the second-best box office for DC, trailing only Aquaman in 2018. According to a 2020 Deadline analysis, Joker had a net profit of $437 million after being produced for a reported $70 million with financial partners Bron Studios and Village Roadshow each paying 25% of the expenditure.
According to the article, Phillips walked away with upwards of $70 million as a result of his backend profit share. According to Deadline at the time, Phoenix apparently accepted a more traditional contract with an upfront payment and a 1% profit share at cash breakeven. Phoenix expressed reservations about returning for a sequel about Gotham City anarchist Arthur Fleck in December, telling The Playlist, “There are some things we could do with him that we could [investigate]. But what about whether we’ll actually do it? I’m not sure.”
Earlier claims from 2020 said that Warner Bros., now Warner Bros. Discovery, offered Phoenix $50 million to feature in the Joker sequels and trilogy. Joker had 11 Oscar nominations, including a first for a comic book film for Best Picture, and won two: one for actor Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor and another for composer Hildur Gunadóttir’s score. Dante Pereira-Olson plays a teenage Bruce Wayne, with Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, and Brett Cullen. HBO Max has the original Joker available to watch.