How it could work as a musical

The dominance of comic book movies over the modern box office has made any search for novelty in the medium a matter of substantial notoriety. So when Todd Phillips announced that his second take on the most beloved villain of all time on the comic book page would be a musical, it raised a few eyebrows.

Joker getting a sequel was obviously inevitable, given its cultural impact and smash hit at the box office. This upcoming sequel was finally announced with the subtitle Madness for two and the possibility of a musical version of the character. The two ideas haven’t crossed over in the past, but fan interest has been piqued.

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Joker was one of the most controversial movies in recent memory, but its incredible $1.074 billion box office return made it clear that people were ready to show up. Joker was the first R-rated film to earn over $1 billion. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what made it such an incredible force at the box office, but individual reactions have been less positive. Some critics loved the film while others hated it. The public firestorm before its release led to a bizarre culture war angle on the film’s impact. Joker is so strongly tied to so many issues across the world of criticism that talking about it in general thankfully people seem to have settled on the exact type of person who is likely to be extremely fond of Joker.


Joker fits perfectly into a movie category like To fall, Taxi driver, the king of comedyand even fight club that are considered to cater to a specific demographic. Something about themes of societal unrest and backlash from a specifically white, male perspective brings out less than tasteful aspects of the audience. Tons of people enjoy Joker and those other comparable films, but people who love them tend to feel somehow connected to the violent protagonist.

It’s hard to argue that the movie glorifies Arthur Fleck, but the shots of him standing over his loyal followers in full greasepaint make it seem like a good time. The film’s smash hit suggests that every demographic must have found something worth considering in the picture, but die-hard fans remain regardless. Perhaps, on some level, the choice to make a musical is made to separate the work from some less polished aspects of the fan base.


Musicals occupy a strange place in the modern blockbuster scene. The overwhelming majority of those heading to the theater are retellings of long-established Broadway staples, like Spielberg’s 2021 version West Side Story. The main exception for the past 40 or so years has been Disney’s animated feature films, which are still heavily song-based to this day. Introducing a musical into the massively overcrowded comic book genre and presenting it as the sequel to one of the more “adult” entries is certainly a bold move. The first film was also a substantial departure from the MCU or DCEU norm, so perhaps this is Phillips’ attempt to push himself even further. But, whatever the intention, if well executed, to do joker 2 a musical could always hit as hard as the first inside and outside the core fanbase.


One of the most popular musicals of the modern era is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 version of The Phantom of the Opera. It was the most financially successful production of all time until Disney stole its crown in 2014 with The Lion King. Fans have a variety of answers as to what exactly makes it a Broadway blockbuster, but one answer is helpfully laid out in its landmark 2010 sequel. Love never dies. This much less respected entry caters to the seemingly sizable portion of the fan base that was enamored with the Phantom and exasperated that he didn’t get the girl. The Phantom only predates the Joker by about 30 years, but both exist in a long chain of characters who become hugely popular outside of their established context for the same reason.


Much of the story of Joker surrounded by the relationship that Arthur forges with a neighboring woman who rejects him as soon as he makes himself understood. We wonder how many Joker fans wanted them to end up together. Most believe the upcoming sequel is Harley Quinn’s addition to the universe, suggesting a possible genuine love interest in the character. joker 2 maybe already Love never dies to the original, so giving it a sweeping score and multiple original songs might be the thing to set it apart. Fans will just have to wait and see if it clicks with the same very specific fan base with its new management and if they walk out of the theater humming the tunes on opening night.

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