Three Things Todd Phillips’ Joker Sequel Can Do To Surpass The First
By now, we all know that Todd Phillips is helming the sequel to the Oscar-winning comic-book adaptation Joker. It was reported that Joaquin Phoenix will be reprising his role as the menacing clown prince of crime known as Arthur Fleck while , in a shocking twist, Lady Gaga will be playing Harley Quinn instead of Margot Robbie coming back as the Joker’s favorite love interest.
People are still somewhat in shock that the sequel to the 2019 smash hit is going to be a musical that will actually feature our lead character singing, which is already something new for a DC film. Despite all of that, fans are understandably worried that this sequel will not perform on the same level as its predecessor.
Here is how it can be great:
Technically, we already saw Batman in the last movie. Many people don’t count it because it was just a young Bruce Wayne up until he lost his parents. However, if fans want to be truly satisfied with the outcome of the film, Todd Phillips needs to have Batman come into his Caped Crusading glory once again. Whether they use Robert Pattinson, or decide to bring Ben Affleck back again, it would be so amazing so see the two go at it in this universe.
Fans might groan and roll their eyes at the prospect of these two characters duking it out yet again, but, whether we like it or not, Joker is the greatest Batman villain in his rogues gallery and a Joker without a Batman, especially in this sequel, does not look like it would bode well with audiences.
Joker must kill Robin
In the comics, Jason Todd’s Robin is kidnapped and held captive by the Joker only to be ultimately killed by the clown prince of crime. To really make this movie compelling, there has to be some sort of stakes. Robin may be the equalizer in those stakes and up the ante in the film to make it more heartfelt and poetic if the Joker were to kill him.
This would most likely culminate into an ultimate showdown of blood, justice and vengeance between Joker and Batman.
Kill the Musical Numbers
It might be impossible at this point but if the filmmakers want this film to succeed, it makes only sense to get the musical genre clear out of the film. DC comic-book films and musicals don’t sound like they mix well together. WIth that being said, it only makes sense that the two remain separate.
To be honest, could you imagine seeing Joker singing a power ballad with Harley Quinn in a DC film, or better yet, singing it with Batman? Moreover, could you imagine Joker looming over Robin as he belts out a villain song? I couldn’t imagine that either.
‘Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham’ Review | A Mystical Lovecraftian Batman Adventure
The Great DOOM! is coming “Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham” combines the world of Gotham and Batman with the cosmic-horror fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, creating a DC Elseworld story that is hauntingly atmospheric and full of great gothic horror as Batman’s rational mind and unparalleled fighting skills are put to the ultimate test when an ancient force threatens his world and everyone he holds dear. The all-new, feature-length DC Animated Movie puts Batman up against Lovecraftian supernatural forces threatening the sheer existence of Gotham as he’s aided and confronted along the way by reimagined versions of his well-known allies and enemies, including Green Arrow, Ra’s al Ghul, Mr Freeze, Killer Croc, Two-Face, James Gordon and more.
Based on the three-issue comic book miniseries written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, Richard Pace, and Troy Nixey published from 2000-2001 is an alternate-world tale that introduces us to an alternate version of Bruce Wayne and the residents of Gotham to Lovecraftian horrors. The film is genuinely atmospheric and true to both the core of DC characters and the tone of the 1920s Gotham story. I’ve always loved reading these alternate stories within the DC Universe and seeing them translated into animation is always a thrill, especially when I get to see different iterations of Batman and Gotham City like “Batman Ninja” in Feudal Japan, “Gotham By Gaslight” with Batman hunting Jack the Ripper, and now we have a 1920s tale with Lovecraft influence. In a matter of fact, Arkham is a fictional town in many of his stories, the two worlds blend seamlessly, though was half expecting to see Constantine with all these demonic demon creatures.
An ancient supernatural evil known as the stalker on the threshold awakens as mystical and evil forces begin to take over Gotham with the purpose of conquering the world and plunge it into an eternal abyss of darkness. In the 1920s an expedition led by Bruce Wayne (David Giuntoli) arrives in Antarctica in search of a lost expedition led by Professor Cobblepot (William Salyers), however, what they find goes further beyond all imaginable mutant creatures and the professor’s undead assistant Grendon (David Dastmalchian). This sets in motion a plot by Talia Al Ghul. Bruce takes to the streets of prohibition Gotham in search of information, This leads him to Dr Kirk Langstrom, a scientist who specialises in bats, and who is convinced something dreadful is coming to take over the world. The story in this film ultimately tests Bruce as Batman soon finds himself coming face-to-face with a new enemy, who is prepared to unleash all hell on earth, thus leaving Batman as the only line of defence. The Dark Knight however seems to be more connected to this supernatural Force than he realised, so in order to defeat it, he may have to embrace the darker side of his persona and face the trauma of his past.
The animation is great, especially the character designs and the 1920s aesthetic for Gotham showcases more of the macabre aspects of the story that features the Cthulhu Mythos. As we explore this alternate Gotham we begin to see the dark shadows and conspiracies of Gotham City that seedly blend well with dark cults doing supernatural things. Even better is how it mixes new alternate iterations of Batman’s rogues’ gallery. Almost all of the villains are physically or mentally corrupted by the Lurker on the Threshold and are given new purposes and an Elseworld makeover in this Alternate story, my favourites being Poison Ivy and Mr Freeze. The colour palette throughout is also strong with red, black, and grey hues for Gotham City to the neon green, fiery red colours depicting the supernatural elements. Whilst the film’s score composed by Stefan L. Smith fulfils the task of being a support element that features good pieces that go from classical to thunderous and orchestral horror truly makes the experience more enjoyable and very Batman which I thought his soundtrack harkened back to Elfman’s.
Sam Liu (The Death and Return of Superman) fills the dual role of producer and co-director, of “Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham working closely with co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) to bring to animated life the script from screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse).
The voice cast is comprised of David Giuntoli (Grimm, A Million Little Things) who reprises his Batman: Soul of the Dragon role as the voice of the Dark Knight. Tati Gabrielle (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) makes her DC animated debut as Kai Li Cain, Batman’s closest ally. Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) as Harvey Dent, John DiMaggio (Futurama, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire) as James Gordon, and David Dastmalchian (Dune, The Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon. Rounding out the cast is Gideon Adlon (Legion of Super-Heroes) as Oracle, Karan Brar (Jessie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise) as Sanjay “Jay” Tawde, Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, The Frighteners) as Kirk Langstrom, Darin De Paul (Mortal Kombat Legends & Overwatch franchises) as Thomas Wayne, Brian George (Seinfeld) as Alfred, Jason Marsden (Young Justice, A Goofy Movie) as Dick Grayson & Young Bruce Wayne, Navid Negahban (Homeland, The Cleaning Lady) as Ra’s al Ghul, Emily O’Brien (Days of Our Lives) as Talia al Ghul & Martha Wayne, Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager) as Lucius Fox, William Salyers (The Regular Show) as Cobbelpot & Professor Manfurd.
I was very impressed with Batman: The Doom That Came To Cotham. A film that faithfully adapts from its source material and goes to some dark and twisted places. Gripping, thrilling, and ultimately a striking horror mystery showcasing Batman fighting off Lovecraftian creatures. Prepare for a mystical, often terrifying Batman adventure unlike any other.
Comic Book Movies
James Gunn Has Released His DCU Lineup Today
James Gunn’s DCU lineup has been revealed. Gunn says his new direction for the DCU will be an eight to ten year process of films and animation, that will all tie in together. Even using the same voice actors for animation in the live-action versions of the characters.
“One of our strategies is that we take our diamond characters — Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman– and we use that to help prop up other characters that people don’t know. Like what happened with the Guardians (of the Galaxy) in some way. Like taking teams like The Authority, which is I know is just as spectacular idea for a film that is completely different take on superheroes. Because it’s really connected to Superman. It’s about to use those well-known properties to help lead into lesser known properties.”
“We’re going to promise that everything from our first project forward is going to be unified. But we’ve gotten very lucky for the next four projects. I will say here that Flash is probably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.”
Creature Commandos — will be an animated tv series: “Animation will lead into live action and back into animation. It’s a way to tell stories that are gigantic and huge without spending $50M an episode.” Says Gunn.
Waller — Will be an HBO Max Live-Action SeriesSuperman Legacy — Will be the official start of James Gunn’s DCU. “It’s not an origins story, it focuses on Superman’s balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He’s the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way, he’s kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old fashioned.” July 11, 2025.
Lanterns — HBO Max live action series. “Our vision for this is True Detective. It’s terrestrial-based, it’s got two of our favorite Green Lanterns –Hal Jordan and John Stewart…it plays a really big role in the main story that we’re telling across our film and Television. This is a very important show for us.”
The Authority — “There’s great wildstorm characters that were popular for a long-time and we’re incorporating them into the DCU,”
Paradise Lost — HBO Max live action series. “It’s going to be a Games of Thrones-ish story about Themyscira, the home of the Amazons and the birthplace of Wonder Woman. This drama is really about the political intrigue behind the society of all women. How did that come about? What’s the beautiful truths and the ugly truths behind all of that and what’s the scheming like between all the power players in that society?” The series will take place before the birth of Diana
The Brave and the Bold — This story will be Gunn’s Batman outside of Matt Reeves story. “who is a little son of a bitch assassin, murderer who Batman takes on, who is Batman’s actual son that he doesn’t know exists for the first 8-10 years of his life….it’s a strange father and son story about the two of them and based on Grant Morrison’s run of the Batman.”
Booster Gold — HBO Max TV series is about a loser from the future, who uses future technology to come back to today, and pretend to be a superhero. “Imposter syndrome as a superhero,”
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow “In our series we see the difference between Superman who was sent to Earth and raised by loving parents from the time he was an infant, versus Supergirl who was raised on a rock, a chip off Krypton, and watched everyone around her die and be killed in terrible ways for the first 14 years of her life, and then came to Earth when she was a young girl. She’s much more hardcore, she’s not exactly the Supergirl we’re use to seeing.”
Swamp Thing: — Will be a dark horror take on the character, that will tie in to the rest of the DCU
Why ‘Joker’ Is Better Than ‘Captain Marvel’
The 2010s proved to be the age of the comic-book movies and I’m not just talking about the Avengers movies, although they certainly changed the game for superhero movies, today I will be discussing are two of the most divided comic-book films of the 2010s and they are Captain Marvel and Joker or better yet, why ‘Joker’ proves to be a much better film than ‘Captain Marvel’.
I will start with what makes the ‘Joker’ movie better than Captain Marvel. For those that have not seen the ‘Joker’ movie, major spoilers ahead. Although, if you haven’t seen it by now, shame on you. It made over a billion dollars at the box office and became Joaquin Phoenix’s most successful film.
But anyway, the joker is about a struggling stand up comedian named Arthur Fleck who is constantly bullied and disregarded by society. Fleck lives with his mother Penny working as a party clown until he is fired from his job for bringing a gun into a children’s hospital.
Afterwards, Fleck is beaten by three businessmen on a train. Fleck draws his gun and kills all three men, beginning his dark descent as one of the greatest comic book villains of all time. Now, let’s talk about Captain Marvel. Yeah I know, but it’s still part of the essay.
Captain Marvel is about a young US Fighter Pilot named Carol Danvers who is the victim of a terrible crash that gives her immeasurable powers after a Kree causes her plane engine to explode. And I’m only saying this not because I remember exactly what happened but because I’m reading that from Wikipedia.
Now, before I break down anymore differences, let me break down how both of these movies are similar. Both movies address a character that is looking for more purpose in life. I understand that that seems like a very broad explanation but that is the case in these films. Both characters have something or a series of traumatic events occur in their lives, both characters go up against a powerful group. In the Joker, Arthur Fleck goes up against the Waynes and in Captain Marvel Carol Danvers goes up against the Kree, both characters find out who they truly are: It’s revealed in Joker that Fleck was adopted and abused as a child and in Captain Marvel Danvers figures out that she was captured by the Kree after she gained her powers and lost her memory and after discovering their true selves, they decide to use their newfound persona for either evil or for good.
Now the reason audiences loved the Joker movie could be surrounded in the fact that the filmmakers brought light to a comic book villain that was never shown in a film until now, while Captain Marvel was divided amongst fans because in my opinion it seemed more like a filler in between avengers infinity war and endgame.
And that brings me to my first point. Unlike Captain Marvel, Joker was designed to be a standalone film and not be part of a cinematic universe, despite the fact that a sequel is possible. But anyway, one of the reasons that makes the Joker movie so much better than Captain Marvel is the fact that it was meant to be a standalone film, which makes it unique.
Captain Marvel on the other side of the Marvel spectrum is a movie within a collection of movies, which means that if it wants to really stand out among the comic book film genre, it needs to do something new that hasn’t been seen before and I don’t want to use these guys as a source, but rotten tomatoes consensus sounds like Captain Marvel just recycles old material.
The consensus reads: “Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU’s latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise’s signature formula”.
Did you guys hear that last part? It makes effective use of the franchise’s signature formula. It never said that Captain Marvel adds anything new in the Marvel Pantheon, it just makes effective use of an already done-before formula.
Joker’s consensus reads: “Joker gives its infamous central character a chillingly plausible origin story that serves as a brilliant showcase for its star — and a dark evolution for comics-inspired cinema”.
The consensus says that it is an evolution for the comic book film genre….and it is. It changed the game for comic book films and it did it with simplicity. It didn’t need to use extended CGI battles and epic fight scenes and that’s what made it so special. It was a departure from other superhero or villain films that rely on special effects to draw a crowd and that is what brings me to my second point as to what makes Joker better than Captain Marvel.
Joker is grounded in reality. Joker doesn’t reference any other superheroes with the exception of young Bruce Wayne, because it’s a film that attempts to tell a story about a mentally ill man that has been ignored, abused and disregarded by society and critics have been taken aback by the results. Many liberal critics are triggered by the fact that director Todd Phillips is shedding a light on a white male character that becomes a supervillain and ends up killing many people in the future. In fact, it’s so stirring for moviegoers that people have claimed it would incite violence or more mass shootings…and it didn’t. With that logic you could say the same thing about Tom Hardy’s Venom or Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, but I won’t get into that.
Anyway, when you compare the plausibility–and that’s what Joker’s consensus says. Plausibility.–when you compare it to that of Captain Marvel, you realize that Captain Marvel by comparison is a fairy tale compared to the Joker because in reality you don’t get powers from a plane crash, you don’t have women fall out of the sky get chased by aliens and later on in the film blast an entire spaceship armada effortlessly. It….does….not….happen.
The Joker however is more plausible. It addresses the fact that there are people with mental illness, which is a real thing. It addresses neighborhood poverty, which is a real thing. It addresses the poor protesting the rich, which is a real thing and it addresses people inciting violence which is a real thing.
Had Todd Phillips taken a different direction to the origin story, like the Joker falling in a vat of acid, we would be having a very différent conversation because it would be a lot less plausible. In Detective Comics #168 in 1951, and revised in Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989, where the Joker, before he became the joker, fell into a vat of acid after a scuffle with Batman, giving him a white complexion, red scarred lips, green hair and a frightening cackle and that explanation is so lazy. It doesn’t cut deep within the motivations of why this character is the way he is.
Captain Marvel’s origin is just as implausible, except with aliens, spaceships and devices that allow you to look inside a person’s mind. I’m actually hoping that there isn’t a sequel to the Joker because if there’s a sequel and/or cinematic universe based on this one movie, Joker would lose its uniqueness and end up being lost in a slew of movies that are only being made to make money, because the best things in life must always come to an end….you know what I’m talking about Star Wars.
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