Entertainment Movies Joaquin Phoenix's 'Joker 2' Paycheck Jumped to $20M After Receiving $4.5M for First Movie: Report The actor won an Oscar for Best Actor for 2019's Joker By Emma Becker Emma Becker Emma is an editorial intern at PEOPLE for Tulane University majoring in Communications and Digital Media. People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 21, 2022 02:35 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage Joaquin Phoenix's reported pay increase is no joke. The Joker actor was paid $4.5 million for his lead role as Arthur Fleck in the 2019 film, according to a report from Variety — and for the upcoming sequel Joker: Folie à Deux, he'll be getting $20 million. Joker was a major success, breaking box-office records as the first R-rated movie to hit the $1 billion mark. Reimagining the DC character's narrative, the movie also earned 12 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Phoenix, 47, won Best Actor. Director Todd Phillips recently revealed a sequel is officially in the works. In early June, Phillips, 51, alluded that a follow-up film was in pre-production on Instagram. The post opened with the red cover of a script titled Joker: Folie à Deux. The binder was dated May 18, and featured his name next to Scott Silver, with whom he co-wrote the first Joker screenplay. Lady Gaga in Talks to Play Harley Quinn in Joker Musical Sequel Opposite Joaquin Phoenix Kevin Winter/Getty Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. A second shot showed Phoenix casually reading the script on a couch while smoking a cigarette. The title Joker: Folie à Deux, which references a delusion or mental illness shared by two people, also suggests that Joker may team up with another supervillain — possibly his sometime-girlfriend Harley Quinn, who may be played by Lady Gaga. PEOPLE confirmed that the House of Gucci actress was in the talks to play Harley Quinn in the sequel — which is also set to be a musical. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to share the news, reporting that Gaga's Harley would exist "in a different DC universe" than the one played by Margot Robbie. While plot and character details are still unknown, Harley — originally known as Dr. Harleen Quinzel — is villain Joker's love interest/sidekick in several iterations of the Batman story, and met the sinister prankster while serving as his psychiatrist at Gotham City's Arkham Asylum.