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Todd Phillips Clears Up Latest 'Joker' Sequel Rumors

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'Joker' director Todd Phillips has come forward to clear up the confusion between conflicting reports from The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline concerning a potential 'Joker' sequel.  THR reported that Warner Bros. was ready to do a 'Joker' sequel and Phillips had a meeting with studio chairman Toby Emmerich to ask for the “rights to develop a portfolio of DC characters" origin stories.” Deadline reported back saying the meeting never happened and no deals were in place.

IndieWire had the chance to speak with Phillips and the Director was open about clearing up the truth behind the rumors.

As for the October 7th meeting and pitching additional DC origin stories, Phillips disputes THR’s reporting and says the writer “jumped the gun.”

“I can honestly say to you there was no meeting that ever happened on October 7 where I marched in,” Phillips said. “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.”

Phillips pitched Warner Bros. on doing a series of darker, more character-focused comic book films. “When I pitched them ‘Joker,’ it wasn’t a movie, it was, let’s do a whole label,” Phillips said. “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.”

As for the status of the 'Joker' sequel, Phillips maintains there are no deals in place nor is there a script being developed at this time.

“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. 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.”

“Here’s the real truth about a sequel,” Phillips said. “While Joaquin and I have talked about it, and while touring the world with Warner Bros executives — going to Toronto, and Venice, and other places — of course, we’re sitting at dinner and they’re saying, ‘So, have you thought about…?’ But, talking about contracts, there’s not a contract for us to even write a sequel, we’ve never approached Joaquin to be in a sequel. Will that happen? Again, I just think the article was anticipatory at best.”

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