This is no joke: Another Joker movie — and perhaps several more DC villain origin movies — are on the way.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Todd Phillips is “in talks” to direct a sequel to his blockbuster Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix — who Warner Bros. has “sequel options” on already. Plus, Phillips reportedly pitched Warners on giving him “a portfolio of DC characters' origin stories,” and while they didn’t go that far...

Phillips did emerge from the meeting with the rights to at least one other DC story, sources say. And now that Joker has crossed the $1 billion mark, a sequel is on the way. As the movie keeps raking in money overseas, Phillips is in talks to reprise his role as director for a second Joker outing.

THR speculates that the villains Phillips would be suited for Darkseid, an evil alien conqueror, or Lex Luthor, Superman’s arch-nemesis. To me, it’s a no-brainer: It’s got to be Luthor. You can treat him exactly the way you treated Joker; give him a slightly sympathetic (but still very dark) origin story. Plus, Lex Luthor, like the Joker, has no outsized powers. Darkseid’s a weird-looking alien god. It doesn’t pair well with Phillips’ approach. Luthor does. That’s a gritty character study just waiting to happen.

To me the lesson here is: Make one movie at a time. Joker might get a sequel, and it could inspire more DC villain movies, but it was created as a one-off — a movie in and of itself. It wasn’t meant to connect to Justice League or The Batman or anything else. And people liked it — and now they want more. And it looks like they are going to get more.

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