The clown prince of crime is set to return to the big screen – and it’s starting to sound weirder the more we hear about it.
Todd Phillips’ original “Joker” film, released in 2019, presented a reimagined version of the classic “Batman” antagonist, given the character in his civilian identity of Arthur Fleck (played by Joaquin Phoenix) in a seedy ’80s version of Gotham followed. The film was inspired by Martin Scorsese films such as Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy in its portrayal of Arthur’s journey into insanity, making it one of the most memorable comic book films in recent memory.
Despite mixed reviews and moral panic at the time that the film would incite violence in the real world, “Joker” was a box office success, grossing over $1 billion on a budget of $62.5 million. Additionally, the film garnered a staggering 11 Oscar nominations and two wins, with Phoenix following the late Heath Ledger in winning an acting Oscar for his performance as Batman’s nemesis. With all the money and accolades the film garnered, a follow-up battle in Gotham seemed inevitable.
Though rumors of a sequel to the film have persisted in the years since its release, a formal announcement was not made until June of that year, when director Todd Phillips posted an image of the sequel script to Instagram, revealing that its official title, Joker: Folie à Deux.” French for “madness for two,” the subtitle seems to promise a crazy sequel, and every development since has kept the film world on its toes.
So while the plot for Joker 2 remains under wraps, here’s what we do know about Phoenix’s second appearance as comic book’s most iconic villain.
It will be in cinemas in 2024
“Folie à Deux” is scheduled to premiere in cinemas on October 4, 2024. Notably, that date is five years after the theatrical release of the original film.
Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips are both returning
Of course, “Joker” doesn’t go without the Joker, and in “Folie à Deux” Phoenix is set to reprise his Oscar-winning role. The actor is getting a significant raise for the sequel, earning $20 million for the film after earning $4.5 million for the original.
Phillips will also direct and co-write the screenplay again with Scott Silver. Whether other leads and crew members from the original Joker will return – like composer Hildur Guðnadóttir or Zazie Beets, who played Arthur’s neighbor Sophie – remains to be seen.
Lady Gaga will play the female lead
After making headlines with her intense methodical handling of the devilish role of Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci, Lady Gaga takes on what is sure to be a similarly insane role. The pop star will play the female lead alongside Phoenix in her third starring role following 2018’s ‘Gucci’ and ‘A Star is Born’ remake.
Gaga reportedly plays the character of Harley Quinn, who was first created in 1992’s Batman: The Animated Series. The character, portrayed in most “Batman” media as the Joker’s psychiatrist who falls in love with him and joins him in his criminal activities around Gotham, has moved beyond her abusive relationship with the clown in recent years, to assert himself as an independent villain. If the rumored role is true, Gaga’s portrayal of the character follows three live-action appearances by Margot Robbie in “Suicide Squad,” “Birds of Prey,” and “The Suicide Squad,” as well as the HBO Max series “Harley Quinn,” in which she is voiced by Kaley Cuoco.
On August 4, Gaga addressed the film for the first time by sharing an animated musical teaser on Twitter. The clip, set to an instrumental of “Cheek to Cheek,” features outlines of Phoenix and Gaga dancing and embracing.
Joker: Folie a Deux
– Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 4, 2022
It’s a musical
In a nod to the original film that no one saw coming, Lady Gaga’s casting message came with the announcement that “Folie à Deux” would be made into a musical. How the film plans to incorporate musical numbers and whether Gaga will contribute music like she did for A Star is Born remains to be seen.
There will be no connection to The Batman or Justice League
While much of “Folie à Deux” remains shrouded in mystery, fans can safely expect the films to remain in their own independent universe. That means the film likely lacks a connection to the DC Extended Universe from the Justice League films – which stars Ben Affleck as Batman – or to this year’s The Batman, which Matt Reeves directed and which Robert Pattinson stepped in ready to play the crusader in caps.
In job interviews, also in conversation diversity On the red carpet for the original film’s premiere in 2019, Phillips made it clear that his “Joker” universe is an original take on the character that has no connection to the broader DC Films spectrum. That said, while you can’t rule out Batman making an appearance in Folie à Deux just yet, it’s safe to say it won’t be Affleck or Pattinson under the hood.
As for versions of the Joker that have a chance to appear in other films, Zack Snyder’s 2021 Justice League cut featured Jared Leto reprising his Suicide Squad portrayal of the villain, while Barry Keoghan did a brief Cameo in The Batman as a shadowy inmate of Arkham Asylum with an awfully familiar laugh. While both Affleck and Pattinson will reprise their roles in upcoming films — Affleck in The Flash, Pattinson in an untitled sequel to The Batman — whether Leto or Keoghan will star as their versions of the Joker in the future is unclear .
https://variety.com/2022/film/news/joker-2-folie-a-deux-everything-we-know-joaquin-phoenix-lady-gaga-todd-phillips-1235333968/ ‘Joker 2’: release date, cast, plot details