It may be no time at all until a Joker sequel enters earnest development. In a recent report looking at the corporate shuffling at Warner Bros. Discovery, it’s said the studio is “getting pretty close” to greenlighting Todd Phillips‘ follow-up. The report itself comes from insider Matthew Belloni of Puck News, who suggests new Warner CEO David Zaslav is all-in on Phillips. Earlier this month, other reports suggested Warners Brothers was looking for Phillips’ guidance with a bigger role within DC Films.
The Joaquin Phoenix-starring origin story ended up as the Clown Prince of the box office, grossing a whopping $1.074 billion worldwide. Because the Oscar-winning film only carried a production budget around $55 million, it’s thought the picture is the most profitable comic book film ever released.
As recently as last October, Phoenix played coy in regards to a follow up, saying they tossed around ideas while filming the first movie, stopping short of confirming any serious plans for a sequel have been carried out.
“I mean, I dunno. From when we were shooting, we started to –you know, uhh, this is an interesting guy,” Phoenix told The Playlist. “There are some things we could do with this guy and could [explore] further. But as to whether we actually will? I don’t know.”
At one point, Phillips said his initial pitch to Warner Brothers was an entire label under DC Films, presumably making edgier films like Joker.
“When I pitched them ‘Joker,’ it wasn’t a movie, it was, let’s do a whole label,” Phillips said in 2019. “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.”
He added, “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.”
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