A Joker series is reportedly being developed for the streaming platform HBO Max, according to sources over at We Got This Covered. This news might sound shocking at first considering the reports we have also heard about a Batman and Joker series starring Ben Affleck and Jared Leto being in the works, but there is definitely some fuel to this fire since we know that Jared Leto is officially back as the Joker. However, there is another interesting wrinkle to this story that could be even more significant.
There have been reports that Warner Bros. has been doing everything they can to bring back Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker. While there has been no official news about a sequel to the Oscar-winning Joker, the news about this HBO Max Joker series has us wondering if this might be the angle they take to get Phoenix back for another go-around as Arthur Fleck. Phoenix has already nabbed an Oscar for the twisted role, but HBO prides itself on creating mature, complex television for adults. Could Phoenix return to the role for another awards run at an Emmy?
It is not out of the realm of possibility that this is what the Warner Bros. executives have in mind for a Joker series. Now that there is an established market for prestige takes on these DC Comics properties with fare like Joker and the recent Emmy-winning show Watchmen, it is worth speculating that Warner Bros. wants to capitalize on this momentum and create the same kind of event television that they manufactured with the HBO Watchmen series.
And nabbing Joaquin Phoenix for a Joker series could be an immense draw. The HBO Max platform is definitely committing to being an essential destination for DC Comics fans. They have announced numerous DC Comics projects including Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a 4-hour new cut of the 2017 film that will be released in episodic installments. Considering that Joker ended up taking in a global box office of over $1 billion, it is no surprise that Warner Bros. wants to do whatever they can to keep that train rolling.
However, this alleged Joker series might not involve Joaquin Phoenix at all. We don’t have any direct info about what direction this potential show could take. It could be centered around Jared Leto’s version of the character, which could be more likely since we know he is returning for reshoots on Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Or it could be a brand new version of the character. The Joker is inarguably the most recognizable and popular supervillain in all of comic book history. It wouldn’t be hard to sell people on a new version of him that was given his own ongoing series.
We will have to wait and see if this Joker series materializes over at HBO Max. It sounds like there are a lot of irons in the fire over there when it comes to the DC Comics properties. Still, if anything has the best shot at being made, it is a project based on a property and character that scored over a billion dollars.