Joker writer/director Todd Phillips is in talks with Warner Brothers to perform those duties on a sequel. Phillips is expected to collaborate on the screenplay for the sequel with his Joker co-writer Scott Silver.
A Joker sequel seems almost a fait accompli given that the film has crossed the billion dollar mark at the box office. When that haul is placed against the film’s meager $60 million budget, Joker stands as the most profitable comic book adaptation of all time.
The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as a frustrated party clown/comedian who is buffeted by socio-economic forces and mental illness until he starts down the path that will lead him to become the arch-nemesis to comic book superhero Batman.
Phoenix’s performance has been hailed by critics and has positioned the actor as a frontrunner in this year’s Oscar race.
Joker is now the fourth DC Comics adaptation from Warner Brothers to gross over a billion dollars at the box office, following in the footsteps of 2018’s Aquaman with $1.15 billion, 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises with $1.08 billion and 2008’s The Dark Knight with $1 billion.
The Hollywood Reporter also states that Phillips met with Warner Brothers chairman Toby Emmerich the Monday after Joker‘s release, the director proposed a series of films looking at the origins of a number of DC Comics characters. Emmerich wasn’t willing to go that far, but did agree to giving Phillips the “rights to at least one other DC story,” according to the Reporter’s sources.
Honestly, I just wish that they would leave well enough alone. While I certainly did like the film, despite a few misgivings, what is the harm in letting it stand on its own? We won’t be seeing the proposed sequel take a big time jump to age Bruce Wayne up a decade and a half or so we can see batman square off against Joker. Matt Reeves is currently prepping to start shooting his The Batman in just a few months, so don’t expect to see the Dark Knight showing up in whatever Phillips has in store.
But it is hard to make the character of the Joker work outside of the relationship he has with Batman. The two have often been carefully defined against each other. Phillips himself couldn’t avoid that in his own film when it was suggested, though through an unreliable narrator, that Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck and a young Bruce Wayne could be half-brothers.
So the question becomes will Phillips further follow the possibility of Joker‘s familial relationship with Bruce Wayne or will he take the character in a different, albeit more risky, direction?
Time will tell.