Fans anticipating that Joaquin Phoenix's Joker could make an appearance in Robert Pattinson's Batman movie will likely be disappointed.
During a Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday, "Joker" director Todd Phillips clamped down on expectations that Phoenix's title character could appear in director Matt Reeves' "The Batman," starring Pattinson as the Dark Knight, or any other DC Comics movie.
"I don't see it ['Joker'] connecting to anything in the future," Phillips said. "This is just a movie."
"Joker" hits theaters October 4. "The Batman" is scheduled for release in June 2021.
Business Insider's Jason Guerrasio wrote in his review of "Joker" that it's an "ultra-violent drama that takes heavy influence from movies like Martin Scorsese's 'The King of Comedy' and 'Taxi Driver.'" Phillips has said "we didn't follow anything from the comic books."
But beyond the movie's tone and standalone nature, it also follows the studio Warner Bros.' recent superhero movie strategy that "Joker" wouldn't tie in to other movies.
After "Justice League," the culmination of the first wave of DC Extended Universe movies, disappointed critically and financially — with a 40% Rotten Tomatoes critics score and $657 million worldwide — Warner Bros. went back to the drawing board. Since then, the studio's DC Comics movies have had little to do with one another, and it's paid off.
"Aquaman" grossed over $1 billion worldwide. "Shazam!" wasn't a mega-blockbuster, grossing $364 million worldwide, However, it received positive reviews with a 91% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and improved DC's status among fans with an 84% Rotten Tomatoes audience score and an A grade on Cinemascore, which surveys audiences on a movie's opening night.
Future movies look like they'll follow this strategy.
"Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)," which comes to theaters in February, joins Margot Robbie's "Suicide Squad" character Harley Quinn with a new cast. Director James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad," which opens in 2021, will feature brand new characters. And "The Batman" cast Pattinson, who replaced former Batman actor Ben Affleck.