One of the most controversial and unique comic book movies in recent memory is officially getting a sequel. On Tuesday evening, Todd Phillips — writer and director of Joker — shared two photos on Instagram. In the first image, we see the title page of the script for Joker 2. In the second image, we see Joker star Joaquin Phoenix reading that script.
Warner Bros. has yet to officially announce a sequel to Joker, but this might as well serve as official confirmation. Phillips has returned to write and direct, Phoenix is back in the titular role, and Joker co-writer Scott Silver once again helped pen the script.
Joker 2 appears to have a finished script
Other than the returning cast and crew, these photos also reveal the title of the movie. Joker: Folie à Deux appears on the title page, although this might just be a working title. Either way, it could offer some clues about the plot of Joker 2.
As noted by Polygon, folie à deux refers to a mental disorder that affects two or more people. Here’s a helpful description from a medical journal:
The term folie à deux includes several syndromes in which mental symptoms, particularly paranoid delusions, are transmitted from one person to one or more others with whom the apparent instigator is in some way intimately associated so that he or she and they come to share the same delusional ideas.
Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) suffered from a neurological disorder causing him to laugh uncontrollably in the first movie. Perhaps the title of the sequel suggests that his influence will begin to spread through Gotham following his escape from Arkham.
The future of the DCEU
Joker ended up cracking $1 billion at the box office, making it one of the 50 highest-grossing movies of all time. As such, there was never much doubt that Warner Bros. would find a way to get a sequel off the ground with the same creative team.
Shortly after Joker hit theaters in 2019, Deadline asked Phillips about a potential sequel:
When a movie does $1 billion and cost $60 million to make, of course it comes up. 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.
Presumably, the director and actor found the thematic resonance they were searching for.
In the meantime, Warner Bros. is going to continue building out the DCEU with sequels and origin stories in the coming years. Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods are both set to come out later this year. In 2023, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Flash will both come to theaters. There are countless other projects in the work as well, including movies about Blue Beetle, Batgirl, Black Canary, Static Shock, and more DC heroes and villains.