Todd Phillips Explains What He’s Looking For In Joker 2

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When Joker screened at TIFF in September, director Todd Phillips said it was intended as a one-off, but he made it clear he will pounce on any opportunity to work with Joaquin Phoenix again.

“Working with him, for me, was the greatest experience I’ve had in terms of director and actor,” he reiterated at a recent DGA Theatre event. “I mean, part of it was because it’s a character study with one person. I’ve never worked that closely with just one, singular person for 60 days shooting, and for four months leading up to it. He likes to talk about things a lot before we go to set. Meaning, in those four months of prep, we spent a lot of time talking about Arthur, talking about Joker, talking about the transformation, auditioning the laugh, auditioning the voice—all those things that you do. But he goes hard, and we went deep.”

For those hoping to see a Joker sequel, Phillips’ enthusiasm for his collaboration with Phoenix is a promising sign—and the same goes for the film’s impressive box office performance. “When a movie does $1 billion and cost $60 million to make, of course it comes up,” he said of a possible sequel. “But Joaquin and I haven’t really decided on it. We’re open. I mean, I’d love to work with him on anything, quite frankly. So who knows? But it would have to have a real thematic resonance the way this one did, ultimately being about childhood trauma and the lack of love, and the loss of empathy. All those things are really what made this movie work for us, so we’d have to have something that had an equal thematic resonance.”

Joker arrives on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD on Tuesday. Check out the trailer below.