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UPDATE: Is a Joker sequel actually happening?

Screenshot: YouTube

It is happening again. “The dance of freedom. The death bells. The rising of the joker.” The Hollywood Reporter declares, roaring with laughter, that Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix will likely return for a sequel to the controversial hit film, which one might argue was inevitable in light of it being the most profitable comic book movie of all time.

What’s more: Phillips has franchise eyes. Why stop at a gritty Joker origin story when he could do the same for DC’s other baddies? Warner Bros. reportedly “balked” at the idea, but sources say that Phillips left the meeting “with the rights to at least one other DC story.” In what could be read as a cheeky nod to Phillips’ recent trolling remarks, THR says the director would be “well suited for either Darkseid, a tyrannical ruler who is worshipped by some as the god of evil, or Metropolis’ power-mad one-percenter, Lex Luthor.” Incel Luthor we can see; incel Darkseid will take a little maneuvering. .

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Regardless, Phillips and his co-writer, Scott Silver, are confirmed to pen the Joker sequel, though he hasn’t officially signed on as director. Phoenix has said he’s open to revisiting the role, so it’s likely he’ll also be on board for a film that will likely continue to toy with the murky relationship between Arthur Fleck and young Bruce Wayne. That said, THR notes that Phillips is steering clear of a Batman origin story (thank god!), what with Matt Reeves’ The Batman on the way.

Anyways, we hope you liked the discourse leading up the Joker release because we’ll possibly be doing it all again soon!


UPDATE, 11:40 AM CST: Deadline is now reporting that THR’s piece may have been extremely premature. “[T]here are no deals for a sequel, nor even any negotiations” with Todd Phillips for a follow-up to Joker, though it’s obvious to anyone with half a neuron in their brain that a sequel will almost certainly happen. Deadline additionally notes that Phillips has not pitched any other DC origin stories, something the trade refers to as “flat false.”

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Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.