Why Todd Phillips pitched 'Joker' as part of a DC Black Label

When director Todd Phillips pitched ‘Joker‘ to Warner Bros., he had also pitched an entire DC Black Label to go along with it. While the studio has made it clear that the label still isn’t a sure thing, we know that Phillips seems to be onto something with his billion-dollar blockbuster. However, it turns out that the only reason the director pitched the label in the first place was so he could make the kind of movie we ended up seeing. It was a way to differentiate a film like ‘Joker,’ or any other experimental DC film, from the current DCEU:

“I went to Warners because I knew that there would be concerns about, how do you separate it from the movies that they were making? I knew they were going to go, ‘We’re going to confuse the audience if you have this Joker out there in these movies, and then you’re doing this whole other thing.’ So my pitch to them was actually to start a label, which was a little aggressive, I’ll admit, in hindsight.”

At this time, it isn’t clear how much of the DCEU will actually continue since several of the films didn’t meet the studio’s expectations. With that in mind, ‘Joker’ has outperformed at almost every level, which appears to make this option more feasible.

“I said, ‘This will be the first movie, and then we’ll get this director to do that, and this director to do this, and we’ll call it DC Black, and Joker will be the first film. In a weird way, it gives you two bites of the apple of these characters. You can do these kind of down-and-dirty character studies over here, and still do the DC Universe over there. To which they said, ‘Okay, calm down, you’re not starting a label here at Warners, but this is interesting. Go write this and tell us what you’re thinking.’

Do you hope that we still end up seeing a DC Black Label? With a sequel of ‘Joker’ in the works, could this just be the start of DC’s future cinematic endeavors, or will this be a unique set of films? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Source: Deadline