This is not a joke: Warner Bros, is reportedly developing a sequel to Joker.

In some ways, this is not shocking. Joker was a massive hit in 2019. The film grossed more than $1 billion worldwide against a reported budget of $55 million. It was also nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won two, for Best Original Score and Best Actor. Set totally apart from the rest of DC Comics’ cinematic universe, the film proved that movies about super-villains without heroes — or any connection to broader DC movie continuity — could be major box office hits. Studios tend not to let movies like that go un-sequalized.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has quietly begun the process of un-un-sequalizing Joker. In their list of powerful Hollywood lawyers, they include an entry for attorney Warren Dern, who counts among his clients Joker director and co-writer Todd Phillips. And in that entry it says that “Todd Phillips struck a deal to co-write the next Joker installment.”

In the past, Phillips has expressed an openness to making another Joker, provided that “it would have to have some thematic resonance” the way the first film did. Shortly after the first film’s release there were reports that Phillips was already working on Joker 2 and several other DC villain origin stories, but the filmmaker said that while he and Joaquin Phoenix “have talked about” the possibility of a Joker 2, there’s “not a contract for us to even write a sequel” and called the rumor “anticipatory at best.”

Well if THR’s sources are accurate, Phillips now has that contract to write a sequel. So next we need to see whether Phoenix can be talked into returning for another movie as the Joker. As for a storyline, there’s absolutely no information about that. Personally, I’d like to see the film take a page from reality, and focuses on a guy who dresses as the Joker and runs for government office.

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