Bolstered by a $96.2 billion USD opening weekend and taking the claim as the highest grossing R rated film, the Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Joker director Todd Phillips has received the rights to develop at least one additional DC Comics origin story by Warner Bros. Pictures.
No official comment has been made by either Phillips or the movie’s star Joaquin Phoenix, but Warner Bros. execs have received a number of sequel options for Phoenix. Phoenix’s performance has led to strong Oscar buzz and is a leading contender for Best Actor.
Joker is an important film for DC. DC has struggled to keep pace with its Marvel counterpart. This marks just the fourth film from DC to eclipse the $1 billion USD mark at the box office. The others to do it include 2018’s Aquaman ($1.15 billion USD), 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises ($1.08 billion USD) and 2008’s The Dark Knight ($1 billion USD).
The big numbers at the box office also mean major figures for director Todd Phillips. Phillips will reportedly earn close to $100 million USD on the Joker film. He structured a deal to take a lower salary upfront and instead take a bigger slice of the box office revenue. When he directed the first Hangover film, he structured a similar deal. The film raked in close to $468 million USD worldwide with a budget of just $35 million USD.