When Todd Phillips’ Joker made over a billion dollars at the box office in 2019, and earned Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar, a sequel became inevitable. But how would director Todd Phillips follow up his unconventional film that was more a dark drama about mental illness than a standard comic book movie? The answer — make it a musical! And cost pop icon Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn! When fans heard this news, there was befuddlement. But now we have our first trailer for Joker: Folie à Deux, which debuted at Cinema Con. So we have a much better idea of where Phillips is going with this continuation of Arthur Fleck’s story. You can check it out below:

In this version of Harley Quinn, it looks like Harleen Quinzel is an inmate of Arkham Asylum, and not a doctor. At least, not anymore. She convinces Arthur Fleck to stage a breakout, as she follows his lead and begins to wear the clown makeup herself. If the first Joker drew inspiration from Martin Scorsese’s films Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, then Todd Phillips is taking a bigger gamble here. Because for Joker: Folie à Deux, he’s clearly taking a cue from Scorsese’s notorious musical flop, New York, New York. Only with Gaga’s Harley in a bit of the Liza Minelli role from that film. Now, just because the film flopped doesn’t mean it was bad. But back in the day, nobody expected Scorsese to follow up a film like Taxi Driver with a musical movie.

Teaser image of Joaquin Phoenix as Joker and Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn for Joker Folie à Deux.
Warner Bros.

Joker: Folie à Deux is the only DC film coming out in 2024. As with the first film, it has no connection to any other DC Comics-based film. It wasn’t connected to the (now over) DCEU, and won’t connect to James Gunn’s new DCU either. In a sense, making it like the DC Comics Elseworlds brand of comics. The first film made over a billion at the global box office. Can a sequel really catch lightning in a bottle like that again? We’ll find out when Joker: Folie à Deux hits theaters on October 4, 2024.