Joker’s Justin Theroux Addresses Rumor About Returning In The Sequel

Justin Theroux cameo in Joker with Joaquin Phoenix

In modern comic book movies, cameos are not only a regular source of fun for audiences, but also commonly used as a storytelling tool. With series often planned out in advance, filmmakers have sometimes used special appearances by known actors as a means of teasing future chapters – with the perfect example being Samuel L. Jackson's debut as Nick Fury in the first Iron Man. All that being said, if you happen to be a person who is expecting to see more from Justin Theroux in Joker 2 following his extremely minor part in Todd Phillips' villain origin tale, we have some bad news for you.

With news recently circulating about Joker 2 taking steps towards becoming a reality, The Hollywood Reporter recently asked Justin Theroux if he was in any way "vying" for a role in the project, and the actor essentially shut that talk down. According to the Mosquito Coast star, he hasn't been in contact with Todd Phillips in a long time, and he doesn't personally see a path towards bringing his character back. Said Theroux,

All I can say is I haven’t spoken to Todd in forever, and I have not approached him about doing anything for Joker. I won’t say any more than that. Unless he has some brilliant way to weave in that small character, that would really be shoehorning a character into the movie that probably doesn’t need to be there.

In Joker, Justin Theroux plays an actor named Ethan Chase... but if you didn't know that it's not exactly a sleight against your comic book movie knowledge. It's a case of a cameo being less of a "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" appearance and more of a case of "squint-or-you'll-miss-it." As seen in the screenshot at the top of this article, he only shows up for a few seconds in the film, and he's only ever featured on a television screen as a guest on an episode of Murray Franklin's talk show (Arthur Fleck watches and imitates him as he prepares for his own appearence).

For what it's worth, there is a bit more to Justin Theroux's Joker cameo beyond a familiar face being featured in a sly way. In Todd Phillips' 2010 movie Due Date, Zach Galifianakis plays an actor named Ethan Tremblay who travels across the country to move to Los Angeles – and his plan is to perform under the stage name Ethan Chase.

As for what's happening with Joker 2... there isn't much to report. Todd Phillips has apparently made a deal that will see him return to co-write the sequel, but we have no idea what the movie will be about, or how long it will be before it's a project that is ready to go into production. There's a lot of anticipation for more information, however, so we'll surely get more updates soon.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.