Joker 2 Moving Ahead, Brings Back Todd Phillips As Co-Writer - Report
After the first movie made $1 billion and more than Star Wars, Todd Phillips is said to be returning to co-write the sequel.
It should surprise no one, but Warner Bros. is apparently moving ahead with a sequel to Joker. According to The Hollywood Reporter, writer/director Todd Phillips has closed a deal to co-write the next Joker movie. The report was focused on Hollywood's most powerful lawyers, one of whom is Warren Dern, who counts Phillips as a client.
The report did not say if Phillips will return as director or if Warner Bros. will look to hire someone else. Also unknown is whether or not Phoenix will come back. The report also did not mention who Phillips may be co-writing Joker 2 with, if it is happening. Scott Silver co-wrote 2019's Joker with Phillips.
Phillips wrote and directed 2019's Joker, which starred Joaquin Phoenix in the title role, for which he won the Best Actor Academy Award. The movie made more than $1 billion globally to finish as the sixth biggest film of the year worldwide at the box office and ranking higher than Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Phillips pitched Warner Bros. on the idea of creating a label of character-focused movies that would examine specific characters from across the comics.
"When I pitched them Joker, it wasn't a movie, it was, let's do a whole label," he told IndieWire in 2019. "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."
In the same interview, Phillips said that there was no deal in place for a sequel, nor was anyone writing a sequel--again, this was at the time, back in November 2019. Back then, Phillips said he and Phoenix had ideas for a sequel.
"Well, a movie doesn't make a billion dollars and they don't talk about a sequel," Phillips said. "Joaquin and I have publicly said we've been talking about a sequel since week two of shooting because it's a fun thing to talk about."
Joker also starred Robert De Niro, Zazi Beetz, and Frances Conroy. Because Joker was not expected to be such a commercial success, Warner Bros. sought outside investors to mitigate their risk if the film didn't land. Warner Bros. also reportedly gave director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix lucrative back-end deals so they are reaping the benefits of Joker's oversized success at the box office.
Before Phillips directed Joker, he was known for his comedies such as Road Trip, Old School, and The Hangover films. He directed the gun-smuggling movie War Dogs in 2016 and is lined up to direct a biopic about Hulk Hogan next. As for Phoenix, he will play Napoleon Bonaparte in Ridley Scott's Kitbag and he will star in Midsommar director Ari Aster's new movie, Disappointment Blvd.