Joker Director Todd Phillips Clarifies Sequel Comments

Joker looking in the mirror

Superhero movies have become the most profitable and popular genre in filmmaking over the last decade, with plenty of studios getting in on the action. Warner Bros. did this by creating the DC live-action universe, kickstarted by Zack Snyder's first two blockbusters. The DCEU has changed quite a bit since then, with the next release being Todd Phillips' Joker, which will give the clown prince of rime an origin story. But should we expect the highly anticipated movie to get a sequel?

Rumors about a Joker sequel began swirling around about a month ago, when Todd Phillips was doing press for the movie's release. When doing an interview about Joker's contents, he seemingly hinted that he'd be down to return for a sequel if Joaquin Phoenix returned with some amazing story. But he's since clarified those comments, saying:

We have no plans for a sequel. The quote was, 'I will do anything Joaquin wants to do.' And I would. But the movie's not set up to [have] a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that's it.

Well, that certainly seems cut and dry. Despite early comments and reports about a possible Joker 2, Todd Phillips maintains there were never any plans to bring back Arthur Fleck for another big screen adventure. And we shouldn't expect this to change anytime soon.

Todd Phillips' comments to IGN might be disappointing to DC fans who are eagerly awaiting the release of Joker. The footage has teased a comic book adaptation like nothing we've seen before, with Phillips crafting a psychological drama set in 1981 Gotham City. The movie will give the Clown Prince of Crime a real origin story, one separate from the serialized storytelling of the larger shared universe.

With a Joker sequel seeming like more and more of an impossibility with every given day, it should give the upcoming release's contents all the more storytelling power. The events we'll follow when Joker hits will have a sense of finality, as the movie isn't doing any set up for the future. It's a complete capsulated story and given the subject matter, the consequences of Arthur Fleck's descent into madness should be killer.

Related: Why Joaquin Phoenix's Joker Does A Surprising Amount Of Dancing

The lack of sequel plans for Joker further highlight Todd Phillips' unique approach to the genre. His movie will have no connection to the DCEU, which has another Joker in the form of Jared Leto. Phillips wanted his movie to be separate from the larger franchise, and crafted a story that wasn't adapted from the comics. New characters were crafted, and its a narrative choice that seems to have really paid off during Joker's advanced screenings.

Todd Phillips assembled a stellar cast to bring the movie to life, with Joaquin Phoenix being joined by Robert De Niro, Six Feet Under's Frances Conroy, Deadpool 2's Zazie Beetz, and GLOW's Marc Maron. And the wait is nearly over, as Joker arrives in less than a month.

Joker will gets its wide theatrical release on October 4th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.