Phoenix reprises the titular role after the 2019 origin story, directed by Todd Phillips and co-penned by Scott Silver (“The Fighter”). Phoenix landed a Best Actor Oscar win for Gotham City corruption story that used “King of Comedy” tendencies and “Taxi Driver” aesthetics to convey the rot and the bile behind the rise of mega-millionaire political family the Waynes, while would-be Batman, Bruce Wayne (Dante Pereira-Olson), grows up parentless. Add in a few nods to the fact that maybe Arthur (Phoenix) may be half-siblings with Bruce, and the twisted entanglement between Joker and Batman goes deeper than other typical DC superhero films.
“Joker” was the sixth highest-grossing film of 2019 after winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The film made history as the first R-rated movie ever to gross over 1 billion worldwide.