Joker director Todd Phillips reportedly asked to serve as DC Universe advisor

by Natalie Kiser

Todd Phillips, Joker, DC

Since Discovery merged with Warner Media to form Warner Bros. Discovery, new CEO David Zaslav has been busy restructuring the company. Of particular interest to Zaslav is getting the expansive DC Universe back on track. Although the franchise has had its triumphs, the DC movies haven’t enjoyed the consistent success of their competitors over at Marvel Studios. Some have said that Warner Bros. needs a Kevin Feige, a single voice to oversee the larger DC universe, and perhaps that person is Joker director Todd Phillips.

Sources have told THR that David Zazlav has asked Todd Phillips to “do more in the DC Universe” and potentially act as an advisor, though the outlet notes that Phillips would “not serve in an executive capacity.” A knowledgeable source added that although Todd Phillips isn’t an expert on the DC Universe, he has discovered a rapport with Zazlav that could lead to new collaborations.

Walter Hamada currently oversees the production of the DC Universe and other DC projects, but a report about the exit of Toby Emmerich as Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman noted that Hamada’s fate was unclear. Zaslav is planning on reorganizing Warner Bros. into three distinct branches, one of which will be DC movies, so it’s clear that the franchise is important to Zaslav moving forward.

Joker was a major success for Warner Bros. as it earned more than $1 billion worldwide, the first R-rated movie to do so. It was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and Joaquin Phoenix walked away with the award for Best Actor. There have been rumours of a Joker sequel since the release of the first movie, but Todd Phillips has said that he largely saw it as a standalone story. Joaquin Phoenix has teased that Arthur Fleck could be explored further, but I’m not about to hold my breath.

Does DC even need its own Kevin Feige, and if so, is that person Todd Phillips?