According to the publication, Warner Bros. already had sequel options in place for Phoenix, who has generated Oscar buzz for his performance as the titular character. However, sources told other publications, including Deadline and The Wrap, that THR's reports are false.
Although the studio may be very protective of DC canon, Phillips and screenwriter Scott Silver's gritty take on the origin story of Batman's infamous arch-nemesis has been breaking box office records ever since its Oct. 4. release. Not only is "Joker" the first R-rated movie to reach $1 billion, but it is the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.
"Joker" brought in $93.5 million in its first three days, becoming the highest October opening weekend in movie history. The film also earned $737.5 million in its first three weekends.
What's even more impressive? "Joker" only had a $60 million budget, which was far less than other DC universe films like "Aquaman" and "The Dark Knight."
Before "Joker" even reached the impressive milestones, the topic of sequels was already a popular question asked during the film's press tour. Earlier this month, in fact, Phoenix revealed he and Phillips talked about the possibility of another "Joker" movie before the first installment was released.
"Long before the release or before we had any idea if it would be successful, we talked about sequels," the actor told the Los Angeles Times. "In the second or third week of shooting, I was like, 'Todd, can you start working on a sequel? There's way too much to explore.' It was kind of in jest -- but not really."
While a sequel could be happening, don't expect Batman's backstory to be involved, THR said. Although Phillips already teased some of Bruce Wayne's origins in "Joker," the story is currently in the hands of writer-director Matt Reeves, who is creating "The Batman," starring Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, to be released June 2021.