Released in 2019, “Joker” was not only a critical success. It had also exploded the box office. Faced with the extent of the success, Warner did not hesitate to prepare a second opus… and to pay the price.
Joker : the success that Warner was waiting for
In the early 2010s, Warner wanted to compete with Disney and the MCU via rival DC and a shared cinematic universe across all films. Unfortunately, very quickly, the project is experiencing many difficultiesthe fault of bad feature films (hello Suicide Squad), desires to copy Marvel humor without success (hello Justice League) and a massive smear campaign from fans of the license (hi Zack Snyder’s Justice League). Who would have thought that the enormous success of the company comes from Jokera film that has nothing to do with the DCEU and which presents itself as a suicidal attempt to reconcile auteur film and origin story of a comic book character?
On arrival, the film of Todd Phillipscarried by the masterful interpretation of Joaquin Phoenix, is acclaimed by the press as rarely has been for a film of this genre. The interpreter of the Joker is also crowned with the first Oscar of his career. On the box office side, it reaches the symbolic billion dollars in revenuebecoming the most viewed R-rated film in theaters.
Faced with the triumph, Warner therefore had no choice: to offer a second opus to Todd Phillips’ film. Entitled Madness for two, it will largely be located at Arkham Asylum and will see the Joker meet his “sweetheart” for the first time: Harley Quinn (who will be played by Lady Gaga)
Warner bets everything
While Warner is restructuring its organization chart as best it can and abandoning its policy of sending its blockbusters very quickly to streaming, Variety teaches us that Joker: Madness for two will be THE project on which the company is betting for the next two years. Since then, spending lavishly will be the watchword for this film.
To start, Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips are expected to earn $20 million each, while Lady Gaga will take home $10. On top of that, the budget granted to the director will be doubled, even tripled compared to the 2019 feature film and is currently estimated at 150 million dollars. Indeed, let us recall that Joker only cost about $55 million. A very meager budget compared to those granted to most blockbusters. This increase is notably due to certain sequences announced as complex, such as certain musical passages sung by the actors.
One thing is certain: we can’t wait to see the result. Joker: Madness for two will be released on October 4, 2024.