The unexpected comic book movie blockbuster of 2019 was Todd Phillips’ Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix in the title role of Batman’s #1 nemesis. The movie earned a billion dollars at the box office and won Phoenix an Academy Award for his role as Arthur Fleck. No one saw all that coming for the relatively smaller budget and very adult-skewing R-rated film. But when you make that much money, a sequel is inevitable.
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming continuation of this alternate take on Gotham City and its broken denizens, which also stars pop superstar Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn.
The official title for Todd Phillips’ sequel to his 2019 blockbuster hit is officially Joker: Folie à Deux. Which means, in French, “Joker: Shared Madness.” Given that the love story of Joker and Harley Quinn (for lack of a better word) has the demented clown sharing his psychosis with Dr. Harleen Quinzell, we think the title makes perfect sense. Although expect a lot of non-French speaking folks to butcher actually saying the title out loud when it comes out.
Joker: Folie à Deux‘s Plot
Right now, we know little of the plot for the Joker follow-up. Other than the fact that it will feature the Joker and Harley Quinn together. Considering how loosely the first film played with DC Comics’ mythos, don’t expect this one to be any different. They explored the origin of the Joker/Harley relationship in the classic Batman: The Animated Series episode “Mad Love,” and then translated (more or less faithfully) in the first Suicide Squad movie.
We expect something a little more out of the box this time for Joker and Harley. Especially as this film is set to be a musical. Presumably, with Gaga singing. Given that the first film drew inspiration from Martin Scorsese’s early films like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, with news of this film being a musical, many feel that it will reflect Scorsese’s film New York, New York. We expect they will also set this film in the 1980s, as the first one was.
Courtesy of Phillips, we got our first glimpse at the action of the new film. The director shared a sneak peek at day one of filming. And so far, Joker: Folie à Deux looks properly menacing.
For the concerned, Peter Safran and James Gunn have assured fans the movie will remain in the DC Universe, though it will carry an Elseworlds project tag. That means it will live on, but it won’t work into the main timeline of the DC Universe.
Joker: Folie à Deux‘s Cast
Aside from the returning Joaquin Phoenix as Joker/Arthur Fleck, and Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn, only a handful of other actors have been confirmed thus far.
Brendan Gleeson has also joined the cast, as has Catherine Keener in a “major” but still unknown role. Jacob Lofland has also joined up, as someone associated with Arkham Asylum. Is he an inmate? An administrator? We’re not sure yet. Also officially joining the cast is Industry‘s Harry Lawtey. There have also been rumors that Zazie Beetz would reprise her role as Sophie Dumond from the first film.
Behind the Scenes
Director Todd Phillips is reuniting with his original Joker co-writer Scott Silver for this new continuation. Although originally reported otherwise, the film will still fall into the purview of new DC Studios co-heads James Gunn and Peter Safran. But it will remain set aside from anything involving a shared DC cinematic universe, just as the first film was.
Joker: Folie à Deux‘s Release Date
Todd Phillips’ film is set to release from Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Studios on October 4, 2024.
Originally published on December 12, 2022.