Warner Bros. Reportedly Offered Joaquin Phoenix $50M To Turn Joker Into A Trilogy
While 2020 has descended into the kind of societal meltdown that makes the bleak chaos of Gotham City look rather tame, there's no doubt that all the same, Joker turned out to be one of the more poignant, if divisive, pieces of filmmaking to release in 2019. The Batman spin-off, starring Joaquin Phoenix at his unhinged best as the downtrodden comedian driven into a life of insanity-induced crime, sparked perhaps more debate than any other film last year.
But regardless of where you stand on just how clever Joker actually was, one thing was beyond reproach: Joaquin Phoenix was a star.
As such, Phoenix's Best Actor-winning performance immediately prompted speculation as to whether his take on the Joker would return in future films. The release of the film itself came at a strange time for the DC Universe, with multiple iterations of Gotham City's most famous inhabitants popping up in different films that have no links to each other.
Director Todd Phillips has been notedly hesitant to commit to a sequel, despite the film's massive box office success and relative critical acclaim.
Of course, that hasn't stopped the folks at Warner Bros. from trying to get more out of a cash cow that even they didn't think would be as lucrative as it was. Now, according to reports, they've tabled their biggest offer to Phoenix yet: a $50 million pay-day to turn Joker into a trilogy.
The news was initially put forward by The Mirror's entertainment insider Halina Watts, who quotes a Warner Bros. source as saying "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."
“It’s still being negotiated but the scripts are being written and Joaquin is very engaged with it.”
“They plan to make two sequels in the next four years, with a long-term commitment to Joaquin and his Joker director Todd Phillips and producer Bradley Cooper. It’s all about getting Joaquin to accept the terms – and the biggest payday of his career by far.”