Joker was an unexpectedly huge hit for such a grim supervillain origin movie, and that was in great part due to Joaquin Phoenix's disturbing take on Arthur Fleck/Joker, which prompted almost as much sympathy from audiences as revulsion.
It's no wonder, then, that Warner Bros. is reportedly willing to drop the big bucks on Phoenix's lap to keep him in the character—and for as much as $50 million he may be willing to go along with the plan.
[Phoenix], who won a raft of awards for his portrayal of the comic-book villain, is in talks to return for a double helping.
An insider tells me: “Joaquin initially felt Joker was a standalone movie.
“But he’s changed his tune now. He says he wants to play this character again, despite the controversies that came with the release last year..."
The source also reportedly said that whatever deals there may be are still in negotiation and "the scripts are being written and Joaquin is very engaged with it."
If everything works out, Warner Bros. Pictures may make a pair of sequels during 2020-2024. Todd Phillips would likely direct again with Bradley Cooper producing.
There's no specific timeline for the movies yet, but $50 million would buy Joaquin Phoenix a lot of clown makeup, so hopefully, he's really in it for the duration.