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Joker 2 is inspired by a musical that caused Coppola to go bankrupt

Francis Ford Coppola is one of the best directors of all time, but one of his biggest commercial failures ended up as inspiration for the Joker 2 movie.

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck

DCU fans are looking ahead to when they can expect to see Joker 2 arrive, and the anticipation is greater than ever. The Clown Prince of Crime has been cackling away on the big screen for years now in a series of DC movies, and is set to return in a musical format for his newest criminal adventure.

But one unlikely source has provided some inspiration for the new Joker movie, and it comes in the form of a Francis Ford Coppola film. More specifically, a bad Francis Ford Coppola film.

As one of the best directors of all time, Coppola has brought us the likes of The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. After creating some of the best drama movies, war movies, and vampire movies, you would think there’s nothing the man can’t do.

But one Coppola movie that hasn’t exactly stood the test of time is the 1981 film One from the Heart. Generally speaking, its one of the director’s lesser known projects (and lesser liked), and serves as his foray into the world of musicals. It turns out, this movie wound up being inspiration for the visual look of the new thriller movie, as confirmed by Joker cinematographer Lawrence Sher.

“One from the Heart, which is an old Francis Ford Coppola movie,” Sher said [via Matti Haapoja], when discussing the films that inspired him. “I broke that down for the new Joker so that it was part of the conversation.”

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“Whether those images ended up really influencing the new one, in part maybe they did, they became a conversation starter for me and Mark Friedberg the production designer and Todd [Phillips] as we scouted in those early days. Even if it’s not a reference that you’re going to take on set and go, ‘I want it to look like that,’ it’s like brain food. It’s dream food.”

So what exactly is this mysterious Coppola musical about? Well, it follows the story of a young couple who break-up after spending the night in Las Vegas and finding new romantic interests. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s probably because it was a flop.

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A rare Coppola misstep, the romance movie was critically panned, and ended up bringing in less than $1 million at the box office after a $26 million dollar budget. In fact, it sparked the beginning of bankruptcy for Coppola. (Due to the financial ramifications, it resulted in a total of $71 million being owed by Coppola and co-producer Fred Roos. …Ouch.)

But if there’s one thing that seems to have gained some respect over the years, it’s the cinematography. So, in that regard, it may be a benefit to Joker 2.

For more on the Clown Prince of Crime, check out our list of the best Joker actors, the best Batman actors, and see all the Batman movies in order. You can also check out our lists of the best movies of all time to see how often Coppola pops up, and check out our list of all the new movies coming out this year.