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Here's How Joker Director Todd Phillips Could Have An Even Bigger Impact On DC Films

As a whole, the DCEU has never replicated the success enjoyed by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nonetheless, it's fair to say that Warner Bros. has managed to achieve remarkable critical and commercial acclaim through their standalone DC Comics-based films. 

Perhaps the two most notable DC solo projects of the past decade have been Matt Reeves' "The Batman" and Todd Phillips' "Joker," both of which take place in distinct timelines that are entirely separate from the superhero universe of "Wonder Woman" and "Aquaman." The Joaquin Phoenix-starring "Joker," in particular, is perhaps one of the most unique superhero films ever created, being primarily a mind-bending character study more akin to something like "Taxi Driver" than anything you'd find on the Marvel side of the aisle. The film, which maintains fairly loose ties to its comic book inspiration, follows the story of unreliable narrator Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), who descends into madness amidst a tumultuous, crime-ridden Gotham City, and eventually becomes something far scarier than he ever could have foreseen. 

Indeed, director Todd Phillips — who, prior to the film's release, was most well-known for directing the "Hangover" trilogy — wanted to present a fresh, grounded take on the character, one which was completely different than a typical comic book movie (via The Los Angeles Times). In the end Phillip's vision paid off, as "Joker" became a major point of discussion in culture at large — to the point of the character's face becoming a protest symbol, per Wired — and won multiple Academy Awards

Now, according to a recent report, it's evident that Phillip's remarkable success did not go unnoticed by the executives at DC — and his work on "Joker" might actually have landed him a much bigger role in DC films.

Reports indicate that Phillips could become an advisor for the DC Universe

According to an unnamed source credited by The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Brothers Discovery president David Zaslav has asked Todd Phillips to take on a larger role in the context of the DC Universe. 

The source went on to explain that Zaslav has discussed the possibility of Phillips serving as an advisor on the DC Universe, clarifying that Phillips would not be taking on an executive role. As such, the report seems to indicate that Phillips' potential role at DC would be very different from that of someone like Marvel's Kevin Feige, who oversees almost every aspect of the MCU and has managed to weave together dozens of films into a single cohesive story. The difference here makes sense, as while Feige has demonstrated a vast knowledge of the comics, the report clarifies that Phillips is not "an expert" on DC characters (his own film, per an Empire interview, deliberately avoided using the comic books for inspiration).

Considering how much the DCEU has struggled to recreate the interwoven nature of the MCU, it seems natural that the studio would shift their focus towards their more successful solo endeavors. Bringing in Todd Phillips as an advisor could help the studio recreate the success they achieved with "The Batman" and "Joker," and might perhaps influence the direction that DC decides to take their superhero properties in the future. Unfortunately, unless Phillips does actually take on an advisory role within DC, we won't know what Phillip's influence over the DCEU might look like. 

In any case, the report indicates that Phillip's unique perspective on comic book films has definitely impacted the executives from DC, who continue struggling to figure out what exactly to do with the DC Universe.