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‘Joker 2’ isn’t a done deal after all

Published Nov 21st, 2019 9:10PM EST
Joker 2 Release Date
Image: WarnerMedia

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A report on Wednesday said that Joker 2 is already in the works at Warner Bros., with Todd Phillips set to direct the sequel. Given the film’s massive success at the box office, a sequel makes perfect sense, with Phillips having fielded questions about the possibility of a second Joker film since the film’s launch.

But the director always said this would be a one-off film, one that’s not even supposed to be connected with the larger DCEU. It turns out that the story that said Joker 2 is already in the works may not be accurate, with two separate reports surfacing in the hours since disputing it.

In a report that followed the original Hollywood Reporter story, Deadline said that not only is Joker 2 not in development, but Phillips never signed up for making other DC origin stories:

[At] this point there are no deals for a sequel, nor even any negotiations with director Todd Phillips or his co-writer Scott Silver to craft one.

Those sources add that the linchpin of today’s THR story — that a week after Joker‘s opening, Phillips met with Warner Bros film chief Toby Emmerich to pitch a portfolio of DC character origin stories — is as flat false as earlier stories that Martin Scorsese contemplated directing the first Joker (Scorsese was originally going to be a producer but dropped out because of his crowded schedule).

Phillips further cleared the air in an interview with IndieWire that just hit the web on Thursday. Phillips said there’s no contract for the sequel. As for that October meeting where other Warner Bros. DC properties may have been discussed, well, that didn’t happen either. Here’s what Phillips had to say:

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. 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.

The director acknowledged that it’s logical for people to talk about a sequel given the film’s massive success. But that’s all there is to it for the time being:

Well, a movie doesn’t make a billion dollars, and they don’t talk about a sequel. 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. But the [THR] article was referring to other things than that that were just frankly untrue. I don’t know how it gets started, if it’s some assistant trying to gain street cred with a writer.

Here’s the real truth about a sequel. 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.

Do we really need a Joker sequel? That depends, really, on whether these movies would be linked to any of the new Batman films. After all, Joker 2 won’t have the same impact, given that we know what to expect from Phillips and Phoenix. But it sure looks like we’ll have to wait a while for more news on the matter.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.