After the unprecedented success of Joker at the box office, it's safe to assume that Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics are eager to get another movie starring Batman's nemesis on screen as soon as possible. But director Todd Phillips has wavered back and forth over whether or not he wants to make a new movie, and he's previously expressed that he would only do it if the idea works as well as the first film. But now it seems like he's more open to the possibility, putting the onus on the executives at Warner Bros.
"When a movie does $1 billion and cost $60 million to make, of course it comes up," he laughed. "But Joaquin and I haven't really decided on it. We're open. I mean, I'd love to work with him on anything, quite frankly. So who knows? But it would have to have a real thematic resonance the way this one did, ultimately being about childhood trauma and the lack of love, and the loss of empathy. All those things are really what made this movie work for us, so we'd have to have something that had an equal thematic resonance."
Phillips previously spoke with IndieWire after rumors of a sequel being approved started to pick up steam. But Phillips downplayed the fact that a sequel is already in the works, though he didn't deny that it's being worked on currently.
"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."
Phillips also pitched a whole line up of DC Comics villain origin movies, which makes sense considering the rumors of a "DC Black" label when Joker was first announced.
"When I pitched them Joker, it wasn't a movie, it was, let's do a whole label," Phillips said. "They shut that down quickly and I get it. Who am I to walk in and start a label at a film studio? But they said, let's do this one."
Maybe the success of Joker 2 will change those Warner Bros. suits' minds.
Joker is now available on Digital HD.