Did Sarah Sherman reprise her role before or after joining SNL? I’m curious how Lorne Michaels will take it.
When we started writing the script, I immediately knew that I wanted Lorne Michaels to be one of the main villains in it. In Batman movies, it’s important to have… I’ve seen criticisms of Schumacher’s Batmen, which I love, for having too many villains. To me, Batman is great, but it’s really about villains.
We really needed a big villain for that. It wasn’t difficult when Bree LeRose, my co-writer, and I came up with the idea of including Lorne. Who is the best comedic warlord for the Joker movie? He’s part of the problem. SNL decides elections, drags us into wars, keeps us in wars. It keeps us in a constant state of “Socialism is weird, isn’t it?” and yet no one in America has health care or anything like that.
He felt like he was fair game, and I don’t remember how we came up with the idea to invite Sarah. I don’t remember when we recorded with her because the last few years have been so blurry. I know Bry came up to me and said, “We need to ask Sarah Squirm to voice Lorne Michaels and she needs a Long Island accent. She shouldn’t sound like him.” We asked her and Sarah did it and she crushed it. When I watch a movie, my brain breaks when I realize that Sarah is in it. I’m really glad we got her there.
Like any true superhero movie, The People’s Joker ends with a teasing sequel. Was it a joke or is a sequel already in the works?
As I was writing this film, the ideas for this world we were playing in just kept coming. There are at least two more parts of this universe that I want to visit eventually.
There’s a lot about cyber warfare. I take it this could be a prequel?
I have an idea for a sequel. It’s really good. I’m probably more likely to get sued than this one, but it explores a lot of the historical stuff we see in the background of this first one, like cyber warfare, why half of America is now mutated, and also going more deeper into the Joker’s mother and hereditary injury there.
That’s all I’m really going to say about this because you have to watch the movie to find out what the next sequel will be or what the sequel will be. This is another major intellectual property that I don’t own that we’re trying to introduce, and it will be another iconic genre character in the spotlight portrayed by a trans person.
The Folk Joker premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Future screenings have been canceled due to “rights issues”.
This interview has been edited for clarity.