Report: Warner Bros. Wants Joaquin Phoenix' Joker to Meet Robert Pattinson's Batman
Written By Mikey Sutton • Editor-in-Chief • Owner
To Warner Bros., Joker was no laughing matter.
The 2019 drama rang over a billion at the global box office and netted a Best Actor Oscar for title star Joaquin Phoenix. Originally intended to be a standalone, Warner Bros. is reportedly interested in having it become a trilogy. According to U.K. tabloid the Mirror, Phoenix has been offered $50 million to appear in two sequels from director Todd Phillips and producer Bradley Cooper. "It’s all about getting Joaquin to accept the terms - and the biggest payday of his career by far," the Mirror reported. The paper added that “It’s still being negotiated but the scripts are being written and Joaquin is very engaged with it.”
Mikey's Take: I haven't confirmed the offer with any of my sources, but WB and parent company AT&T are serious about stretching Joker into a series of films. The number seems realistic, and I'll be stunned if talks with Phoenix haven't begun. It isn't just about the cash for corporate heads, either. Joker was a creative achievement that will be re-watched for generations, not unlike Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. But there's always that tug of war between art and commerce.
For a movie that, ironically, was supposed to signal that a cinematic universe wasn't necessary for DC to compete with Marvel Studios, WB is wondering how they can tie in Phoenix's Joker into the DCEU. It would be an ambitious goal, one that could fail miserably or not even welcomed by Phillips or Phoenix. But execs see the explosive commercial potential of Phoenix in a showdown with Robert Pattinson's Batman. With the upcoming Flash film toying with timelines and multiverses, they can view a pathway for making that materialize, replace Jared Leto's Joker with Phoenix's. Will they? I don't know. However, when such a game changer is brought up in private conversations, it has to be addressed whether they decide to - or can - pull the trigger on it. It's a complicated road map of egos and individual visions. For now, it seems like there will be more of Phoenix' Joker in the years ahead. Whether or not Pattinson will be included in that remains to be seen.