After originally claiming that Joker would be a one-off character study, the unprecedented success of the award-nominated film has caused everyone involved — from director Todd Phillips, to star Joaquin Phoenix, to the studio behind it Warner Bros — to reconsider their position.
Speaking at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Phillips expressed his desire to see someone direct a take on Batman set in the grim Jokerverse that he created in Joker.
“It’s a beautiful Gotham. What I would like to see someone tackle is what Batman looks like from that Gotham,” Phillips told Variety’s Marc Malkin at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, where he was being awarded with Variety’s Creative Impact in Directing Award.
However, Phillips was quick to say that he wouldn’t be the one to make that movie.
“I’m not saying I’m going to do that. What was interesting to me about the inclusion of Batman in our movie was, ‘What kind of Batman does that Gotham make?’ That’s all I meant by that,” he said. [via Variety]
Phillips has certainly changed his tune when it comes to said Jokerverse, as he’s gone from previously being staunchly against the idea of a sequel to now openly discussing the possibility of one and encouraging other filmmakers to get in on the fun.
As for the prospect at hand — a version of Batman set in that universe — I couldn’t disagree with Phillips more.
Joker was excellent but it was, by no means, the right atmosphere for Batman to thrive. For as derided as Batman v. Superman was, it did include the best Batman fight scene ever put on film, which is something we need more of. And I’m not entirely sure the Joker universe could reasonably sustain such action.
However, given the record-shattering success of Joker, there’s little doubt that the franchise will be continued in some way, shape, or form — whether it be a direct sequel or another origin story about an iconic Gotham City villain (in which case, I vote for Mr. Freeze).
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him firstname.lastname@example.org