Director Todd Phillips posted on Instagram the first confirmation that 2019’s ‘Joker’ sequel is moving forward on Tuesday – including the script cover, written by Phillips and Scott Silver, his collaborator on the first film, with the eyebrow-raising title “Joker: Madness for two.”
In the same post, Phillips included a photo of star Joaquin Phoenix reading the script.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Phillips’ Instagram post.
Phillips’ original “Joker” film reframed the iconic Batman villain in an anti-hero character study about a struggling comedian and part-time clown artist named Arthur Fleck who becomes a folk hero in Gotham City after going on a rampage. in shocking acts of violence. Moody, dark, and carefully avoiding the action beats typical of superhero cinema, the film was still a massive global blockbuster, grossing over $1 billion worldwide. It earned 12 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director for Phillips, and Best-Adapted Screenplay for Phillips and Silver. Phoenix won Best Actor and Hildur Guðnadóttir won Best Original Score.
Shortly after the film debuted in 2019, Phillips and Silver sat down with Warner Bros. film chief Toby Emmerich about a possible sequel. Since then, Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’ has survived a pandemic shutdown and star Robert Pattinson contracted COVID the day after the film was rebooted, to become one of the top global blockbusters of the pandemic era, grossing 770.3 million at the worldwide box office. ‘Joker’ and ‘The Batman’ exist in separate continuities from other DC adaptations – Reeves even cast Barry Keoghan to play a different version of the Joker in a cameo role.
Although Phillips didn’t share any plot details about the new “Joker” movie in his Instagram post, the title offers some intriguing implications. Literally translated as “shared madness”, madness for two is a lay term for shared delusional disorder. This could reference how Arthur’s villainy is widely embraced by Gotham City in the first film, but it could also suggest that Phillips’ sequel will bring its own take on Joker’s main (and, really, only) sidekick. in Life, Crime and Madness, Harley Quinn – who was played in other DC adaptations by Margot Robbie (in live-action) and Kaley Cuoco (in animation).