- The Hollywood Reporter reported on Wednesday that a “Joker” sequel was in the works and that director Todd Phillips met with Warner Bros. film chief Toby Emmerich after the movie’s opening weekend about developing a series of other standalone DC movies.
- THR said that Phillips walked away from the meeting with the rights to develop one other DC movie.
- But conflicting reports from Deadline and The Wrap on Wednesday said that no deal was in place for a “Joker” sequel and no talks where happening between Warner Bros. and Phillips.
- Phillips told Indiewire on Thursday that the meeting THR reported did not take place, but that he did initially pitch a series of standalone DC movies. He said Warner Bros. shot down the idea.
- As for a “Joker” sequel, Phillips told Indiewire that there was no deal in place to write a sequel and that the THR story was “anticipatory at best.”
- Phillips has previously said that “Joker” was always meant to be a standalone movie. But in an interview with The Los Angeles Times last week, as the movie approached $US1 billion at the global box office, he hinted at what he’d like to see in a sequel.
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“Joker” reached $US1 billion at the global box office last week, the first R-rated movie to ever do so. So it was no surprise when The Hollywood Reporter reported on Wednesday that a sequel was in the works with director Todd Phillips in talks to return.
But then conflicting reports popped up.
Deadline and The Wrap reported that no deal was in place and no talks were happening between the studio Warner Bros. and Phillips. Variety, though, reported that Phillips had met with Warner Bros. film chief Toby Emmerich about a potential sequel, but the talks are “very preliminary, no deal is in place, no storyline has been decided upon, and no script is currently being written.”
Phillips himself set the record straight in an interview with Indiewire on Thursday – well, sort of.
THR reported “on October 7, [Phillips] headed into [Emmerich’s] office, buoyed by the film’s $US96.2 million opening-weekend haul” and proposed developing “a portfolio of DC characters’ origin stories.” He was granted the rights to develop “at least one other DC story,” THR said.
Phillips denied that the meeting took place, telling Indiewire, “I can honestly say to you there was no meeting that ever happened on October 7 where I marched in. First of all, if you know me and my career, that’s not my style.”
But he also said that he did initially pitch Warner Bros. on developing a series of darker, standalone DC stories similar to “Joker,” which is an ultra-violent origin story of Batman’s greatest foe. He added that Warner Bros. shot down the idea.
“When I pitched them ‘Joker,’ it wasn’t a movie, it was, let’s do a whole label,” Phillips told Indiewire. “They shut that down quickly and I get it. Who am I to walk in and start a label at a film studio? But they said, let’s do this one.”
So is a “Joker” sequel in the works?
Phillips has been adamant in previous interviews that the movie was always meant to be a standalone story without a sequel in mind. He told GameSpot last month that he would do anything that star Joaquin Phoenix wants to do, but “the movie’s not set up to [have] a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that’s it.”
Yet, Phillips told Indiewire “a movie doesn’t make a billion dollars and they don’t talk about a sequel” and “Joaquin and I have publicly said we’ve been talking about a sequel since week two of shooting because it’s a fun thing to talk about.”
“Here’s the real truth about a sequel,” Phillips added to Indiewire. “While Joaquin and I have talked about it, and while touring the world with Warner Bros executives – going to Toronto, and Venice, and other places – of course, we’re sitting at dinner and they’re saying, ‘So, have you thought about…?’ But, talking about contracts, there’s not a contract for us to even write a sequel, we’ve never approached Joaquin to be in a sequel. Will that happen? Again, I just think the article was anticipatory at best.”
And in an interview with The Los Angeles Times last week, as the movie was nearing $US1 billion, Phillips hinted at what he’d like to see in a sequel if one were to be greenlit. He said it would “have to have some thematic resonance” like the first movie.
“It couldn’t just be this wild and crazy movie about the ‘Clown Prince of Crime,'” he told the Times. “It would have to have some thematic resonance in a similar way that [‘Joker’] does. Because I think that’s ultimately why the movie connected, it’s what’s going on underneath. So many movies are about the spark, and this is about the powder. If you could capture that again in a real way, that would be interesting.”
- Read more of Business Insider’s coverage of “Joker”:
- A ‘Joker’ sequel is reportedly in the works after the movie passed $US1 billion, breaking the R-rated box-office record
- ‘Joker’ will cross $US1 billion at the box office today, becoming the first R-rated movie in history to do so
- Martin Scorsese says he considered making ‘Joker’ for years before passing for ‘personal reasons’
- ‘Joker’ cinematographer on what star Joaquin Phoenix was really like on set and the controversy surrounding the movie
- The viral ‘Joker’ outtake with an angry Joaquin Phoenix originated as a prank on the movie’s director
- ‘Joker’ director says he stopped making comedies like ‘The Hangover’ because of ‘this woke culture’
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