When Joker was first announced, many figured it would be different from other comic book films since it starred artistically driven Joaquin Phoenix who famously declined playing Doctor Strange in Marvel Cinematic Universe due to sequel contractual obligations. His desire to pick projects that wouldn’t tie him down. And it was because of this that the film was advertised by Phoenix and director Todd Phillips as a “one and done” film.
Indeed, Joker was meant to be a standalone film that would kick off the DC Black label, a series of low budget standalone films for Warner Bros. that would be separate from the main DCEU canon that films like Aquaman and Shazam! have recently been released as a part of. But, according to an interview with Popcorn with Peter Travers, Phoenix now considers this his dream role, quoting the following:
You know, I wouldn’t have thought about this as my dream role. But now, honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it. I talked to Todd a lot about what else we might be able to do, in general, just to work together, but also specifically, if there’s something else we can do with Joker that might be interesting. So, it ended up being a dream role. It’s nothing that I really wanted to do prior to working on this movie.
And while he didn’t flat out say “Bring on more!”, Phoenix spoke with a new sense of uncertainty on playing the character again:
I don’t know that there is [more to do]. Me and Todd would still be shooting now if we could, right? Because it seemed endless, the possibilities of where we can go with the character.
It’s not surprising that Warner Bros. would want more of this. Joker is already a smash hit, having made $248 million in it’s opening weekend to take several box office records for the month of October (See the specifics here). Not to mention the award buzz already surrounding the film, particularly for Phoenix’s performance. And that’s not including the film taking the coveted Golden Lion when it premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival back in August. I imagine Phillips and Phoenix could write their own ticket at this point. Given Phoenix’s dedication to his roles, it wouldn’t be so impossible to imagine lightning striking twice. For now, the famous DC Comics villain has the last laugh once again on the big screen. Stay tuned!