Update: Todd Phillips in talks to make a Joker sequel and develop other DC origin stories


Update: Deadline is telling THR to slow its damn roll, claiming that their sources say that there is no Joker sequel in the works yet, though it’s highly likely to happen at some point. They also claim that the whole Todd Phillips origin pitch thing was a lie too. Drama in the Hollywood trades!

Original: I agree with our own Matthew Razak that Todd Phillips’ Joker kind of sucked, but I can’t deny that it’s a cynical money-making machine. (And yeah, some of the memes that jab the film are very funny.) The film has made more than $1 billion worldwide, which means the cynical money-making machine must keep on chugging.

Despite the self-contained nature of the film, Phillips is currently in talks with Warner Bros. to develop a Joker sequel as well as other DC origin stories. The plan is to have Phillips direct the film and once again share co-writing duties with Scott Silver. It’s likely that Joaquin Phoenix will return to the role, though there is no official word on that as of The Hollywood Reporter’s writing.

The first Joker film was a hacky rip-off of Taxi Driver and King of Comedy. I hope the Joker sequel is a hacky rip-off of…

*rolls Martin Scorsese titles in a bingo cage*

The Age of Innocence and Hugo.

I’m curious about these additional origin stories that Phillips will get to develop. THR suggests Lex Luthor or Darkseid could be candidates since they’re iconic DC villains. Based on how Phillips handled the Joker origin story, I sort of expect the following takes:

  • Bro, what if SOCIETY created Lex Luthor?
  • Bro, what if SOCIETY created Darkseid?

I wonder if this will be non-canon origins since there is a separate Batman movie being developed by Matt Reeves and a New Gods project with Ava DuVernay at the helm. The DCEU: everything is Elseworlds, I guess–just keep throwing spaghetti at the wall.

Whatever happens, this feels like the comic book movie equivalent to the grim-and-gritty era of comics in the 1980s and 1990s. That Dark Age of comic books took the wrong lessons from two master texts of the form (Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns) and introduced a cynical age of gritting teeth and teenage angst; adolescent sensibilities in adult cosplay. It also ushered in the speculator boom and bust that hobbled the industry.

Maybe a similar pattern will follow in mainstream comic book films. We’ll see when we get the Captain Boomerang origin film that’s really a stealth remake of Chinatown.

But bro, what if SOCIETY created Captain Boomerang?

‘Joker’ Sequel in the Works as Todd Phillips Eyes More DC Origin Movies (Exclusive) [The Hollywood Reporter]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.