Todd Phillips offers clarification on Joker sequel reports
Yesterday was quite the oddball frenzy of reporting and debunking of rumors surrounding a sequel to the box office smash Joker and while aspects of the initial story have been confirmed as wrong, co-writer/director Todd Phillips has opened up surrounding the truth of a follow-up and meetings with Warner Bros. for other DC Comics villain origin stories.
In an interview with Indiewire, Phillips confirms that the report he was meeting with the studio for more origin stories was not true and that the meeting never took place.
“First of all, if you know me and my career, that’s not my style,” Phillips said. “I made a huge comedy at Warner Bros., The Hangover, and I didn’t suddenly become a comedy factory producer, like, oh, let’s just churn out movies. Bradley [Cooper] and I have a production company at Warners. I’ve been at Warners for 15, 16 years. We have two things in development at all times, not 40 things like some people. I’m not the kind of guy who goes marching in saying I want these 40 titles. I just don’t have the energy.”
The co-writer/director did confirm that early into production on the adaptation of the clown prince of crime, he had a sit down with WB to discuss the possibility of launching a DC Black label and that he and Phoenix have been discussing the possibility of a sequel since the second week of filming, but that the studio shot down the comic adaptation label.
“Here’s the real truth about a sequel,” Phillips said. “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.”
Director Todd Phillips’ original, standalone origin story Joker explores the world of—and according to—Arthur Fleck. Indelibly portrayed by Phoenix, Arthur is a man facing the cruelty and outright scorn of society, along with the indifference of a system that allows him to spiral from vulnerability into depravity. A clown-for-hire by day, he strives to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds that the joke always seems to be on him. He’s out of tune with everyone around him, as evidenced by his uncontrollable, inappropriate laughter, which gains momentum as he attempts to contain it, exposing him to further ridicule—and even violence.
Arthur, who devotes himself to caring for his fragile mother, seeks out every father figure he’s never had, from wealthy businessman Thomas Wayne to TV host Murray Franklin. Caught in a cyclical existence teetering on the precipice of reality and madness, one bad decision brings about a chain reaction of escalating, ultimately deadly, events.
Buy The Joker: A Celebration Of 75 Years here and catch up on the Clown Prince of Crime.
Joaquin Phoenix stars as the titular villain with Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Bill Camp (Red Sparrow, Molly’s Game), Frances Conroy (American Horror Story), Brett Cullen (Narcos), Glenn Fleshler (Barry), Douglas Hodge (Penny Dreadful), Marc Maron (GLOW), Josh Pais (Motherless Brooklyn), and Shea Whigham (First Man).
Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Scott Silver (The Fighter), based on characters from DC. The film is being produced by Phillips and MCU mainstay Bradley Cooper under their Joint Effort banner, and Emma Tillinger Koskoff. It is executive produced by Richard Baratta, Joseph Garner, and Bruce Berman.
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