It was reported earlier today that Joker 2 is happening. But new report's suggest that the Clown Prince of Crime getting ready for his return to the big screen may have been greatly exaggerated.
It was recently reported that Warner Bros. had locked in director Todd Phillips for Joker 2, following the unexpected success of this year's DC Comics adaptation. While it's true that a sequel may, and probably will, happen eventually, no such talks have taken place yet, so we need to pump the breaks just a little bit.
Early on, Todd Phillips said no Joker 2 was planned. According to several new reports, no official talks between director Todd Phillips, nor Joker screenwriter Scott Silver, have taken place. It has previously been reported that Phillips met with studio head Toby Emmerich about, not just a sequel to Joker, but other possible, similar DC standalone features. It's now being reported that no such meeting took place. Whereas previous reports made it sound like this was, more or less, a done deal, these new reports paint the situation as preliminary at best.
Joker has grossed more than $1 billion at the global box office and, given its relatively low budget, it is now poised to become the most profitable comic book movie ever. As such, it makes every bit of sense for Warner Bros. to pursue a sequel. It's also important to note that star Joaquin Phoenix, who played the character in this year's breakout hit, has an option in his contract for a follow-up. Joaquin Phoenix seemed open to Joker 2 as of late, but only if the story is right and it doesn't feel obligatory. Phillips also recently made similar comments. Both Phillips and Phoenix have seemed to change their tune just a bit, given the movie's success.
Last week, the director teased what needs to happen for Joker 2. Initially, Todd Phillips stated this would be a one-and-done situation. But money talks. And that is the key here. At the moment, it's highly possible that no talks have taken place between Phillips and Warner Bros. Joker is still in theaters and it's likely the movie will score some Oscar nominations. Particularly, it's probable Joaquin Phoenix will wind up with a Best Actor nomination. The studio and creative team may want to let the dust settle a bit before entering into negotiations about turning this lighting in a bottle situation into a franchise.
Be that as it may, in the modern Hollywood landscape, success like this can't be ignored. Any movie based on a character as beloved as the Joker, with rich storytelling potential, that makes more than $1 billion, is going to get a sequel. It's unlikely Warner Bros. would want to do that without Todd Phillips or Joaquin Phoenix, but they're surely going to capitalize on this as much as possible. With that in mind, just because talks haven't taken place yet, doesn't mean they won't. Let's just not get ahead of ourselves. We'll be sure to keep you posted as the situation develops. This news was previously reported by The Wrap.