If you’re looking for some sort of dark, depressing, psychologically taut new DC cinematic universe to be built around Joaquin Pheonix’s upcoming turn as Joker in Joker and Robert Pattinson’s take on Batman — you’re out of luck. Joker director Todd Phillips categorically denied that the two would ever meet when asked by Variety: “No, definitely not.”
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. After years of trying to play catch up with the MCU in creating a cinematic universe and failing miserably, DC and Warner Bros. are beginning to take a different approach. The studio still has plans for a connected universe, but they’ll also be producing more one-offs like Joker that take a beloved comic character as the subject matter and build a film around them. This allows them to take riskier approaches on their characters and multiple ones at that.
“Oddly, in the states, comic books are our Shakespeare it seems, and you can do many, many versions of Hamlet,” Phillips said on future appearances of the villain. “There will be many more Jokers, I’m sure, in the future.”
Joker has been getting accolades after premiering at both the Venice Film Festival, where it took home the Gold Lion top prize and TIFF, where it screened this week, but it’s also stirring up controversy. The film opens to the public on Oct. 4, 2019.