Director Todd Phillips has broken his silence amid growing speculation that a sequel for his recent box office smash Joker has been confirmed.
According to reports earlier this week, Phillips pitched the idea to Toby Emmerich, chairman of the Warner Bros Pictures Group, in a plot to further develop a range of DC characters in the origin stories.
Despite early trepidation and murmurings of doubt about Phillips’ Joker plans, the recent Joaquin Phoenix film surpassed all expectations with emphatic effect when it smashed the $1 billion mark at the box office—only the fourth DC title to do so and the first R-rated film to pass the billion-dollar mark at the worldwide box office.
Now though, Phillips has dismissed some of the rumours: “I can honestly say to you there was no meeting that ever happened on October 7 where I marched in,” Phillips said in an interview with Indie Wire. “First of all, if you know me and my career, that’s not my style. 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.”
Despite the denial of the supposed meeting with Warner Bros., Phillips did hint that a sequel was still on the cards: “Well, a movie doesn’t make a billion dollars and they don’t talk about a sequel,” he added. “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. But the [THR] article was referring to other things than that that were just frankly untrue.
“I don’t know how it gets started, if it’s some assistant trying to gain street cred with a writer.”
Following suit, Phoenix also recently described Joker as his “dream role” and, while in conversation with Peter Travers last month, added: “I can’t stop thinking about it … if there’s something else we can do with Joker that might be interesting.”
He continued: “It’s nothing that I really wanted to do prior to working on this movie. I don’t know that there is [more to do] … Because it seemed endless, the possibilities of where we can go with the character.”
Warner Bros. have yet to comment on the sequel.