‘Joker’ Director Todd Phillips to Bank $100M Payday as Sequel Gets Rolling

Warner Bros. and Todd Phillips are reportedly in discussions for a sequel and another DC story at this time.

Joker Sequel Info Details Box Office Todd Phillips
Warner Bros. has reportedly ordered a sequel to Todd Phillips’ Joker. Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros

In August, Joker director and co-writer Todd Phillips admitted that he would be open to the idea of a sequel if his psychological character study masquerading as a comic villain origin story became a hit. Well, Joker just became the first R-rated movie to ever surpass $1 billion at the worldwide box office and is cruising to more than $500 million in pure profit, while Joaquin Phoenix is a front-runner for an Oscar. That’s official hit status.

As such, Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver are in talks with Warner Bros. to develop a sequel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. What’s more, Phillips has reportedly secured the rights to another DC story fit for a gritty re-telling. Details on both projects are scarce at this time. Earlier this year, it was reported that a Lex Luthor origin story was in development following Joker‘s breakout success, though that remains unofficial at this time.

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Per the outlet, the studio does hold sequel options for Phoenix. However, the three-time Oscar nominee has made his distaste for franchises known in past comments.

UPDATE 11/20: Deadline is now reporting that Phillips and Warner Bros. are not currently in talks regarding a Joker sequel.

UPDATE 11/21: Todd Phillips denied having “serious conversations” with WB regarding a Joker sequel, The Playlist reports.

Phillips is said to have deferred his upfront salary on Joker in exchange for a greater percentage of the adjusted gross, which reportedly included between 10 and 13 percent on the backend. With the movie emerging as the fourth DC film to cross $1 billion, he’s set to earn around $100 million for his trouble, THR reports.

Joker is more of a Martin Scorsese-inspired character drama than a conventional superhero tale. Its overwhelming success may inspire other studios to marry old-school film concepts with highly-visible pieces of intellectual property. If so, Hollywood is looking at a full-on genre takeover that will extend the superhero bubble’s lifespan.

‘Joker’ Director Todd Phillips to Bank $100M Payday as Sequel Gets Rolling