Having recently become the first R-rated movie to surpass $1 billion at the box office, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that DC’s Joker is likely getting a sequel movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has sequel options in place for star Joaquin Phoenix and is in talks with director Todd Phillips to bring him back for the sequel as well. Phillips and Joker co-writer Scott Silver are expected to write the screenplay once again.
The report didn’t offer up any details on the plot of the sequel, but noted that it won’t explore Batman’s origins, as DC is already working on The Batman with writer-director Matt Reeves — a movie which will give yet another new actor (Robert Pattinson) the opportunity to don the cape and make the role his own.
While the existence of a Joker sequel was all but inevitable, THR’s report also reveals that, following Joker’s massive opening weekend, Todd Phillips approached Warner Bros. Pictures Group’s chairman Toby Emmerich and asked for “the rights to develop a portfolio of DC characters’ origin stories.” Emmerich was taken aback, as this simply isn’t how the studio operates, but sources say that Phillips walked away with the rights to at least one other DC story. I’m willing to bet that THR’s guess of Lex Luthor is right on the money, but we’ll have to wait and see.
While Marvel has seen success from building out its universe and diving deeper into the lives of its characters, DC’s critical successes in recent years have all been origin stories, from Wonder Woman to Aquaman to Joker (all of which also grossed over $1 billion). While DC and Warner Bros. would clearly prefer to catch up with Marvel and build out its own cinematic universe, it’s hard to argue with the results of these origin movies.