Welp, that was quick. Just a day after The Hollywood Reporter ran a story claiming that a sequel to Joker was in the works and that director Todd Phillips had asked Warner Bros. for the “rights” to develop additional origin stories, the director himself has shot down those rumors, saying THR “jumped the gun.”
Yesterday, mere hours after the THR report, Deadline published a conflicting report that Phillips has since backed up.
Speaking exclusively to IndieWire, Phillips said that there was no October 7 meeting with Warner Bros. and that at this time, a script is not being developed and there are no deals in place.
As for the October 7 meeting where he allegedly pitched Warner Bros. on making additional DC origin stories akin to “Joker,” Phillips disputes THR’s reporting and says the writer “jumped the gun.”
“I can honestly say to you there was no meeting that ever happened on October 7 where I marched in,” Phillips said. “First of all, if you know me and my career, that’s not my style. I made a huge comedy at Warner Bros., ‘The Hangover,’ and I didn’t suddenly become a comedy factory producer, like, oh, let’s just churn out movies. Bradley [Cooper] and I have a production company at Warners. I’ve been at Warners for 15, 16 years. We have two things in development at all times, not 40 things like some people. I’m not the kind of guy who goes marching in saying I want these 40 titles. I just don’t have the energy.” [via IndieWire]
While it may not yet be in the works, given the massive box office success of Joker, a sequel is almost a certainty at this point. Phoenix and Phillips have both increasingly warmed to the idea since its release, and given that the film is smashing box office records without the director and actor having to compromise their artistic vision and integrity, there’s no reason to believe that wouldn’t be the case for a potential sequel.
As for Phillips developing other DC villain origin stories, that seems to be another natural evolution for Warner Bros., as Joker not only proved there’s a market for that audience, but it gives the studio something that their fiercest competitor, Marvel Studios, does not have: an edge.
If Warner does allow Phillips to develop further origin stories, I’d personally like to see either Two-Face or Mr. Freeze, as they are easily the two most sympathetic characters in Batman’s iconic rogue’s gallery.
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 via email@example.com