The Joker sequel news that hit a trade today is great click bait, but multiple inside sources said that while a sequel to the billion-dollar-grossing film is an obvious likely eventuality that makes all the financial sense in the world, at this point there are no deals for a sequel, nor even any negotiations with director Todd Phillips or his co-writer Scott Silver to craft one.
Those sources add that the linchpin of today’s THR story — that a week after Joker‘s opening, Phillips met with Warner Bros film chief Toby Emmerich to pitch a portfolio of DC character origin stories — is as flat false as earlier stories that Martin Scorsese contemplated directing the first Joker (Scorsese was originally going to be a producer but dropped out because of his crowded schedule). Multiple sources said no such October 7 meeting between Phillips and Emmerich occurred, and that Phillips doesn’t want to follow Joker by overseeing other DC character films. What he has talked about in interviews is that when Joker was in its inception, there were discussions of a DC Black initiative. He instead focused on Joker. That was a long time ago. Phillips has a track record of being selective: After The Hangover began breaking records for R-rated films, he did not seek to turn his company into a comedy factory.
No one is saying a Joker sequel won’t happen someday. But multiple sources said nothing has happened yet and that Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver have made no real moves to draft the further dark rise of Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck character, or even to make a deal to do that.