Is Joker 2 happening? We're not so sure at this point. We know there have been informal talks, but nothing official. And neither Todd Phillips nor Joaquin Phoenix have signed a sequel contract. But even if we don't get Joker 2, we may see other DC Villain origin movies.
Todd Phillips is finally breaking his silence on all things having to do with the Joker movie's future, after he announced that Joker 2 has no signed contracts. Last week, it was teased that the director was hard at work on a sequel, along with a DC Villains Origin label. However, none of that has proven to be true, though it is rooted in the director's actions.
As for Joker 2, don't hold your breath as Phillips says he's "closed for repairs" creatively. The sequel has not been talked about officially with the studio. As for the Villain Origin label, Phillips recently detailed what that would have entailed had it turned into something real.
When Todd Phillips went to Warner Bros. about Joker, he had other plans. Originally the idea for a label came about as a way to separate Joker from the DCEU and the previous movies that have been released over the years. Phillips thought the label idea would be a good way to differentiate. He explains.
"I went to Warners because I knew that there would be concerns about, how do you separate it from the movies that they were making? I knew they were going to go, 'We're going to confuse the audience if you have this Joker out there in these movies, and then you're doing this whole other thing.' So my pitch to them was actually to start a label, which was a little aggressive, I'll admit, in hindsight."
While DC and Warner Bros. have yet to officially start talks with Todd Phillips about a possible sequel to Joker, the thought is more than likely there. The movie has made over $1 billion at the box office and separated itself from the normal comic book movies. With that being said, making Joker was only part of the equation that Phillips pitched to the studio. He had this to say.
"I said, 'This will be the first movie, and then we'll get this director to do that, and this director to do this, and we'll call it DC Black, and Joker will be the first film. In a weird way, it gives you two bites of the apple, of these characters. You can do these kind of down-and-dirty character studies over here, and still do the DC Universe over there. To which they said, 'Okay, calm down, you're not starting a label here at Warners, but this is interesting. Go write this and tell us what you're thinking.'"
The "DC Black" idea that Todd Phillips pitched with Joker is not currently an official thing. However, one can easily see the studio trying to go back and make something like that work after the success that Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix stumbled on to. Neither the actor nor director knew the story would resonate with so many people to become the hit that it has become and the same can be said for the studio. The "DC Black" label is something that could probably work with Phillips as a producer.
Marvel Studios was able to capture the interconnected aspect of comic book movies when DC was not able to. But it seems that DC may have found its original niche, that could involve darker character studies. This is something that could continue to work for other characters, but will DC and Warner Bros. choose to go down this path? We'll just have to wait and see. The interview with Todd Phillips was originally conducted by Deadline.