By Ava Zardynezhad, July 7 2022—
Back when he won the Oscar for his portrayal of the Joker, Joaquin Phoenix said, “Contrary to popular belief, I don’t want to rock the boat.” Well, the recent news of a Joker sequel prophesied the second half of that quote, “But the boat is [redacted] rocked.”
According to news sources, Todd Philips’ new concoction of a movie is going to be a musical featuring Phoenix, once again, as the titular character and Lady Gaga as his counterpart and comic book love interest, Harley Quinn.
Now, everyone is baffled by this news, asking, “Was a sequel really necessary?” or “For crying out loud, why a musical?”
To answer the first question, despite taking the White-socialist-character study approach, Joker is still very much a superhero movie, so new of a sequel can’t possibly be shocking. Besides, the movie ended on a cliffhanger, so a sequel is definitely warranted.
But, to answer the second question, I think a musical was the only natural progression to making a successful sequel.
Sequels are more often than not one of the most self-gratifying, unnecessary, money-sucking, uncreative forms of visual media in Hollywood. Yet, studios keep making them and audiences keep hate-watching them. That being said, there is one sequel to a stand-alone movie out there that is objectively and uncontestedly better than the original — and that movie is Shrek 2.
Now, you might ask, what the heck do Shrek 2 and the Joker sequel have anything to do with each other?
There are more similarities than you’d expect.
There are arguably two major aspects of Shrek 2 that made it a success — an unhinged platinum-blonde bombshell with murderous instincts and a killer 80s musical number. Now, what do we know about the Joker sequel? Right, the addition of an unhinged platinum-blonde bombshell with murderous instincts and a musical, set in the 80s. What could possibly go wrong?
All that we need now, is the introduction of a righteous, pretty boy to act as a foil to our anti-hero character — and as the villain to our story — a charismatic assassin who is deceptively cute-looking, a muffin man, a high-stakes break-in scene to accomplish Joker’s most essential need on his journey to complete his arc, and last but not least, a high speed police chase, ideally involving some pepper spray and there we have it — Shrek 2 (Todd’s Version).
The facts are there — this plan isn’t anything if not a recipe for success. I can’t help but be hopeful about the Joker sequel. It’s good to see movie studios are finally taking notes.
This article is part of our humour section.