WB Reportedly Planning Multiple Joker Sequels, With Or Without Phoenix

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After Joker had dominated the cultural conversation for months, establishing itself as one of the defining titles of 2019 in the process by becoming the highest-grossing R-rated movie in history and landing eleven Academy Award nominations, you just knew that Warner Bros. would suddenly decide that there was franchise potential in Arthur Fleck’s story.

This was the studio that gave director Todd Phillips a relatively meager $55 million budget because they didn’t particularly want to make it in the first place, which ultimately saw them lose out on a huge share of the profits, but after such overwhelming critical and commercial success, they appeared to change their tune awfully quickly.

Having previously knocked back the opportunity to play the MCU’s Doctor Strange, Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t seem like the type of actor who’d be interested in headlining a comic book franchise that would dominate his career for years, but both he and Phillips haven’t entirely ruled out the possibility of sequels just yet.

There’s been constant speculation surrounding potential Joker follow-ups ever since the movie hit theaters, and we’ve now heard that Warner Bros. already have plans for multiple sequels and even have a back-up plan just in case their leading man doesn’t want to reprise his Oscar-winning role.

According to our sources – the same ones who told us about Ahsoka Tano’s involvement in The Mandalorian months ago, and that Diana will get her Golden Eagle armor in Wonder Woman 1984 – turning Joker into a franchise is a top priority for WB at the moment. Apparently, they’re planning multiple sequels and while it’s unclear how many more films Phoenix will return for, if he decides to bow out at some point, they’ll just lean into the theories that say Arthur isn’t the true Clown Prince of Crime and switch the focus to another character, someone Arthur inspired. After all, we’ve already heard that he wasn’t the real Joker and that the true Clown Prince of Crime is still out there and will be introduced in the sequel.

With Jared Leto’s time seemingly up, the studio are keen to keep monetizing one of their most prized assets, even if Joaquin Phoenix isn’t involved. It’d be difficult to imagine another standalone Joker outing without him coming so soon after, but Warner Bros. seem intent on turning their R-rated universe into something that runs parallel to the more family-friendly DCEU.

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