Joker Director Todd Phillips Reveals His Original Three-Movie Pitch for a DC Black Label Franchise

The world of Joker may be bigger than fans know as of yet. While rumors of a Joker sequel already being greenlit have been debunked by director Todd Phillips, he tells the IGN UK podcast that his pitch for the film included two other DC Black Label movies that would be helmed by other directors. "I pitched it as three movies, Joker being the first with me, and then these two other movies, with two other directors," he says. "But I don't really want to name them, because then it'll become a thing and I'm pulling these directors into it when I've never even told them about it. It was just me telling Warner Bros. about it.

"I still think it's a great idea. But I'll be honest with you, their argument - well, it wasn't an argument - their thing is, there's no reason to create its own label, there's no reason to go to all that trouble. Just when we want to one of these kind of movies, we'll do it, just like Joker is. I get that, but I also thought it was just kind of cool if it became a thing."

Joker has made more than $1 billion on its own, becoming the first R-rated film to achieve that level of box office success. The film is a grounded origin story for Batman's archnemesis, the Joker. Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, who descends into madness and emerges as the clown-faced killer known as the Joker. The film also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, and Marc Maron.

The film proved polarizing with critics. ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis called it a masterpiece is his 5-star review, writing, "Whether or not Joker is a social commentary on issues such as poverty or mental illness, a new and mysterious take on the best known DC Comics villain, or just another unforgettable piece of cinema which producer Martin Scorsese is attached to, you’ll need to see to believe it and, even then, you still might not believe it."

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Do you think Warner Bros. should build a brand around Joker? Let us know what you think about the idea in the comments. Joker is now playing in theaters.

Upcoming DC Films movies include Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.