‘Joker’ Sequel Is Not Confirmed, According To ‘Deadline’ Report

Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips attend the 57th New York Film Festival "Joker" Arrivals at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on October 02, 2019 in New York City.
Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Although a report from The Hollywood Reporter suggests that director Todd Phillips is speaking to Warner Bros. about a direct sequel to the billion-dollar-grossing film Joker, a subsequent Deadline report says otherwise. The new report cites “multiple inside sources” who reportedly suggest that there are currently no deals for a sequel and no negotiations with Phillips or his co-writer, Scott Silver.

The Deadline report also disputes the Reporter’s claim that Phillips pitched multiple DC Comics character origin stories to Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich, suggesting that Phillips doesn’t want to follow Joker with other DC character films. According to the sources, Phillips spoke about a DC Black initiative during Joker’s inception but chose to focus on the latter movie.

“No one is saying a Joker sequel won’t happen someday,” the report reads. “But multiple sources said nothing has happened yet and that Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver have made no real moves to draft the further dark rise of Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck character, or even to make a deal to do that.”

Joker has been a commercial and critical success, becoming the United States’ biggest October release ever and the first movie with an R rating to exceed $1 billion at the global box office. The film also earned a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Newsweek reports.

Although Phillips might not actively be in talks with Warner Bros. about a Joker sequel, he has discussed where a potential follow-up would go in terms of story, NME reports.

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“It couldn’t just be this wild and crazy movie about the ‘Clown Prince of Crime.’ It would have to have some thematic resonance in a similar way that [Joker] does.”

According to Phillips, the movie connected with people due to such resonance — what he referred to as “what’s going on underneath.” While he says many movies are about “the spark,” the Joker is reportedly about “the powder.” If Phillips were able to “capture” such powder again in a “real way,” he says it would be “interesting.”

As The Inquisitr previously reported, Joker star Joaquin Phoenix commented on a sequel to the film while speaking to The Los Angeles Times earlier this month. The 45-year-old actor revealed that he spoke to Phillips about working on a sequel during the second or third week of shooting the movie. According to Phoenix, he believed there was “way too much to explore.” Phoenix went on to suggest that the comment has partially serious and partially in jest.