Updated: After becoming the first R-rated movie to make $1 billion at the box office, it’s perhaps no surprise that Warner Bros. would like to have a sequel to Joker.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix are in talks for a second film to the dark horse sensation that shocked prognosticators with its record-smashing ticket sales. But since that story was published Wednesday morning, sources have dubbed the report premature — that parties are nowhere close to any kind of deal and there is no script being drafted. Furthermore, one element of the original report — that Phillips also struck a deal to develop an origin story for another DC character — is being denied.
Warner Bros. hasn’t issued a comment on the matter.
Joker joins DC titles Aquaman, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Dark Knight in the $1 billion club, but had considerable headwinds against it when it opened last month — Joker had a lower budget ($60 million), an R-rating, and far grimmer content combined with fears of violence being committed in the theaters, and a backlash among some in the media against the film’s content.
In addition to Joker, Warner Bros. also has coming to the big screen Birds of Prey (Feb. 7, 2020), Wonder Woman 1984 (June 5, 2020), Matt Reeves’ The Batman (June 25, 2021), James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (Aug. 6, 2021), Dwayne Johnson starring in Black Adam (Dec. 22, 2021), and an Aquaman sequel (Dec. 16, 2022).