Todd Phillips was already discussing a sequel to Joker in August, months before it came out. The fact that the film made over $1 billion at the box office and will likely garner multiple Academy Award nominations, possibly including Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix, is icing on the twisted cake. Phillips is “in talks,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, to direct and co-write another Joker movie; Phoenix, who played the Crown Prince of Crime, is also likely to return, as studio Warner Bros. has “sequel options in place.”
Phoenix initially sounded hesitant about playing Joker more than once, but in recent weeks, his mood has change. He’s now “open to anything,” including returning to Gotham. “You know, I wouldn’t have thought about this as my dream role. But now, honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it,” he said. “I talked to Todd a lot about what else we might be able to do, in general, just to work together, but also specifically, if there’s something else we can do with Joker that might be interesting.” Phillips also proposed “the rights to develop a portfolio of DC characters’ origin stories,” but Warner Bros. declined the pitch; instead, he was offered Joker 2 and “at least one other DC story,” which the Hollywood Reporter theorizes could be either Darkseid or Lex Luthor:
The unexpected bounty also is generating a huge payday for Phillips, 48. Sources say the director will earn close to $100 million when the dust has settled (he deferred his upfront salary in exchange for a bigger slice of the adjusted gross). In fact, the deal is similar to one he struck with Warners before the first Hangover movie, which went on to earn $467.5 million worldwide in 2009 off a $35 million budget (the trilogy took in $1.42 billion).
Say what you will about his movies, because there is a lot to say, but Todd Phillips might be one of the smartest guys in Hollywood (to quote the Joker himself, “If you’re good at something, never do it for free”). Joker 2 doesn’t have a release date yet, but DC’s upcoming titles include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020.
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)