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Joker 2: Joaquin Phoenix Is Reportedly Getting A Major Pay Bump For The Sequel

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Comic book movies are a dime a dozen, as the genre continues to dominate the film industry. But a few projects stand out as something wholly unique, as Todd Phillips’ Joker was definitely in that category. Development on the sequel is currently underway, and Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly getting a major pay bump for Joker 2

After years of rumors it looks like Todd Phillips is finally moving forward with Joker 2. The first movie was a massive success, which ultimately earned Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar for Best Actor. And according to a new report by Variety, the Gladiator actor is getting a huge raise for reprising his role as Arthur Fleck. Because while in the first film he earned 4.5 million, Joker 2 will give the actor a $20 million payday.

This pay bump makes a great deal of sense considering just how well the first Joker movie performed upon its 2019 release. After all, the movie earned over $1 billion at the box office, with Joaquin Phoenix doing a ton of heavy emotional work. It also became an Awards Season favorite, and Phoenix swept the Best Actor category of that year. That includes the coveted Academy Award. So it makes sense that negotiations for a bigger payday might occur before signing on to reprise his role.

While Joker was originally intended to be a standalone project rather than part of a franchise, the movie’s wild success seemed to change the tune of Warner Bros. and Todd Phillips alike. The studio has also moved forward with other projects set outside of the DCEU like The Batman. There were even rumors that Phillips was asked to have a larger creative impact on DC movies as a whole.

While much of Joker’s sequel is a mystery, the project’s development definitely piqued the interest of the moviegoing public. Todd Phillips is serving as both director and co-writer of the movie’s script, with Joaquin Phoenix back as the title character. There were also reports that Lady Gaga might be playing Harley Quinn, which seems like another Awards Season project for the singer-actress to appear in following A Star is Born and House of Gucci. Her potential casting came with another rumor: that Joker 2 could potentially be a musical. This would be a huge departure from the dark and grueling tone of its predecessor.

The ending of the first Joker movie definitely led to conversation about its contents, and whether or not a sequel could occur. Throughout the R-rated movie Joaquin Phoenix’s title character proved himself as an unreliable narrator who suffered from delusions. As such, it was unclear if all of the events of the film actually occurred. But we’ll presumably get more answers once Joker 2 finally hits theaters.

Joker 2 is currently in development and does not have a release date. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.