5 Reasons Why Joker 2 Should Not Happen
By Sal LoCicero | May 9, 2021
‘Joker’ was the most polarizing film of 2019. While the film may have took home the Golden Lion Award at the 76th Venice International Film Festival, and received two oscars for Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix) and Best Original Score (Hildur Guðnadóttir), it sparked an insane amount of controversy over topics related to gun violence, mass shootings, mental illness, society, and social class; all of which are highly relevant today.
The film also created more controversy around critics, some who claimed that the source material was unoriginal and a rip-off of classics before it. Todd Phillips even stated during pre-production that ‘Joker’ would take a lot of inspiration from Martin Scorsese’s films like Taxi Driver and The King Of Comedy. Joker was both a great success and a tremendous failure. It grew major controversy throughout the U.S., it divided both critics and audiences, it became the first R-Rated feature to gross a billion dollars worldwide, it won the most significant award at Venice, and it won two Oscars.
This week it has been announced that a sequel to Joker is still in development at Warner Bros. During the release of Joker, Todd Phillips had discussed about a potential sequel with WB, however no further details were given at the time. The studio may believe that a sequel to Joker is a good move since it was a financial success, however we think otherwise and here’s why…
5. THE success of joker (2019)
Before it was ever in production, Joker left many people skeptical. It was exciting to hear that Warner Bros. and DC Comics were going to develop a Joker origin story, however it was the decisions about the making of the movie that left many fans doubtful. In 2016, it was said that the movie was to steer clear from any comic book inspired stories relating to the villain. It was also stated that Joker would be a Martin Scorsese-like origin story written and directed by Todd Phillips; the man behind The Hangover.
Once the teaser trailer debuted, both fans and moviegoers alike were excited about the movie. On September 7th, 2019, Joker won the Golden Lion Award at the 76th Venice International Film Festival. Joker was the most nominated feature at BAFTA and the Academy Awards.
4. The controversy
After the teaser trailer debuted, people on twitter went berserk. The trailer depicted a story about a man with mental illness living in a trash environment who turns to violence in order to become noticed. Many people argued that Joker would cause violence and mass shootings to occur.
This argument had grown so much that every news platform was covering this topic. Victims of the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting sent a warning letter to Warner Bros. about releasing the movie to theaters. The military sent out an emergency warning in case of an active shooter during a showing of Joker, and police were present during Joker’s first week in theaters. One movie theater in L.A. shutdown during a Thursday night showing of the film due to online threats towards the theater.
3. Todd Phillips
Ever since 2000, Todd Phillips has been known for directing raunchy comedies. This is the man who directed Old School, and The Hangover Trilogy. The Hangover is one of the most successful comedies of all time; both critically and financially. After the release of The Hangover, Phillips signed on to make a sequel in 2011 with the same cast. The Hangover Part II was not received as well as the first film. Many critics complained that the sequel was a copy and paste of the first film only with a darker tone.
With Todd Phillips discussing a possible sequel with Warner Bros., you can’t not think about the failure of The Hangover Part II and that will only make us even more skeptical than we were before.
2. The story will become unoriginal
One of the main reasons why Joker became one of the most anticipated features of 2019, was because the filmmakers choose to take a different approach towards the infamous character. There are rarely any comic book movies nowadays that are original. The MCU is only known for pleasing fans of Marvel Comics. DC Comics had a difficult run after The Dark Knight Trilogy. Almost every DC movie, after The Dark Knight Trilogy, tried and failed to be what those films were. After making three flops (Man Of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Suicide Squad), DC decided to do something different. This is where the idea of Joker came into play.
Making a sequel will defeat the purpose of the first film. Nowadays Hollywood is constantly making sequels after sequels and have nothing original to offer. Joker chose to be a different comic book movie and was still able to be as successful as any other comic book hit without the need of visual effects and action. It was a slow burn drama that had a thought provoking storyline. The idea of a sequel will stab the first movie right in the back.
1. Expectations for the sequel
If Warner Bros. and Todd Phillips move forward with the sequel, they are gonna have to take a different direction with both the character and the story. The first film was a character study similar to Taxi Driver, maybe the second film could be a psychological thriller similar to Fight Club. At the end of Joker (2019), Joker's cult was taking over Gotham City. In the last scene, we get a shot of Arthur Fleck in a mental hospital. This scene is left for interpretation.
There have been some movie sequels that were as successful or even better than the original, like The Godfather Part II, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Dark Knight - just to name a few. If a sequel were to be in the making, would it become another success? Maybe. Would it be just as controversial as the first? Most likely.
No matter what happens, at the end of the day it’s up to Warner Bros. to decide if they are moving forward with the story or not.