Published Nov 21, 2019Todd Phillips's Joker was a box-office boon, meaning it would only make sense that Warner Bros. would demand a sequel. Yesterday (November 20), a report emerged suggesting as much was true. Phillips has now clarified the situation.
The initial piece from The Hollywood Reporter that lit up these rumours suggested that Phillips barged into the Warner office on October 7 and pitched making other DC origin stories akin to Joker. The director since sat down with IndieWire to refute the claims.
"I can honestly say to you there was no meeting that ever happened on October 7 where I marched in," he said. "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."
Phillips went on to clarify that he pitched the idea of doing DC origin stories when he first brought his Joker idea to Warner, long before the film even existed. He wanted to start his own label of origin stories, and the studio shot it down.
But he went on to say that a Joker sequel could still be in the cards.
"Well, a movie doesn't make a billion dollars and they don't talk about a sequel," he said. "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."
Phillips concluded, "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."
Read Exclaim!'s review of Joker.