×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Joker sequel will reportedly introduce a mega character

Stop us if you've heard this one.

Rumor-mongering website We Got This Covered is reporting that the sequel to the smash hit, Oscar-nominated film Joker will see the introduction of an iconic DC character: the Joker. That is, the real Joker, whose criminal persona will be influenced by the activities of Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck.

We know, the punchline needs a little work. Here's another one you may have heard before: it must be said that, in general, WGTC is generally not a super-reliable source of inside information. While the website has reported accurate information from time to time, we tend to chalk this up the "Even a Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day" effect, so the substance of this report should be taken with a clownishly large shaker full of salt.

Having said that, this would obviously be an intriguing development, if true. We're not aware of any media that has ever explored the notion of whether Gotham City is big enough for two Jokers, and it's difficult to imagine Fleck taking too kindly to some random guy attempting to out-crazy him and potentially co-opt the movement he started (unless, of course, that was all in his head, which we'll get into momentarily).

There are a few reasons why we wouldn't necessarily go to bat for this rumor's veracity, but it's worth noting that as far as the idea of Fleck not being the real Joker goes, there is a pretty strong contingent of fans who accept this as a given — and director Todd Phillips has even suggested that it may be the case.

Fans have long theorized that Arthur isn't the real Joker

There are some pretty significant clues in Joker which allude to the possibility that Fleck isn't just some alternate universe version of the Clown Prince of Crime, but that he is in fact more of a proto-Joker, an extremely troubled man who will go on to influence the guy who will eventually cause the entirety of Gotham's underworld to tremble at the mention of his name. Just in case you haven't caught the movie yet, we will be getting into spoilers for Joker here, so please be advised.

It's been posited that many of the events of Joker take place solely in Fleck's troubled mind, such as his murder of talk show host Murray Franklin on live television and his incitement of a violent insurrection in the streets of Gotham. We already know that his relationship with his kindly neighbor Sophie was a pure fantasy; the actual Joker is many things, but he's not usually depicted as being flat-out delusional.

Consider also that Fleck seems supremely uninterested and disconnected from organized criminal activity, and it's pretty tough to picture him — as psychologically fragile as he obviously is — rising up to take over Gotham's underworld. Add to all of this the fact that he's presented as being literally decades older than Bruce Wayne; if Fleck's universe will one day see the Batman going toe to toe with the Joker over the heart and soul of the city, then that Joker is unlikely to be Fleck, who will be a senior citizen by the time Wayne dons the cape and cowl.

Fans have noted all of these things since before Joker was even released — but do they add to our rumor's credibility?

Are there actually any plans for a Joker sequel?

In our informed opinion, they do not. First and foremost, it's not even clear that Joker 2 is in the cards at all. Sure, it's been heavily rumored since Joker made over a billion dollars at the box office, and Phoenix and director Todd Phillips haven't definitively shot down the notion — but we still don't know for sure whether it's even happening.

Second, if Phillips does deign to return to Gotham for another go-round, he's made it clear that it will only be under certain conditions. Namely, Phillips is only interested in the prospect of a sequel if he can find a compelling reason to continue Fleck's story, and he's also said that any sequel would have to be extremely similar to the original in its tone and themes.

Notice that we said specifically that Phillips is only potentially interested in continuing Fleck's story; it's highly doubtful that either he or Phoenix would have any interest whatsoever in using Fleck as a jumping-off point to get into how the real Joker comes to be. They gave us the character they were invested in, with a film purposefully set in a different time period than the rest of the DC Movie Universe; to reverse course now, and use Fleck to set up a different Joker who could take on Batman in some future movie, would considerably cheapen their achievement.

No, as fun as it might be to think about, we're pretty sure that this rumor is high-grade malarkey. If we ever do get Joker 2, it's going be just as unconventional and idiosyncratic as the first — and we find it just as likely that it won't ever come to be.

Looper Newsletter
Endless Entertainment In Your Inbox
By submitting my email, I agree to the privacy policy