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Everything We Know About Joker: Folie à Deux

Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix dance on the stairs in Joker: Folie à Deux, featured in an article with everything we know about Joker 2

Joaquin Phoenix is coming back as the iconic Joker in Folie à Deux. To get you ready for the film, here’s everything we know about Joker 2!


Joker: Folie à Deux is on the horizon. Though many have been skeptical at the idea of a sequel to the Oscar-winning Joker, director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix are bringing their interpretation of the iconic titular Batman villain back to the big screen this October. In what’s informally known as Joker 2, Phoenix will again star as Arthur Fleck, a disillusioned former stand-up comic turned criminal who finds new love in the form of the similarly deranged Harleen Quinzel, also known as Harley Quinn (Lady Gaga).

The original Joker was such a refreshingly grounded, adult, and unsettling “comic book movie.” I stand by it being a comic book movie by technicality only, which you should take as a compliment. I really hope that its sequel can keep the original’s great qualities alive despite going in its own unique direction. What direction is that, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you not only that, but everything we know about Joker 2!


A RECAP OF JOKER

In 2019’s Joker, Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) is a failed stand-up comedian in the fictional Gotham City. After suffering from mental illness and an abusive upbringing, he finds himself drawn to vengeful violence and takes on the persona of the Joker, spawning a wave of violent protests in his wake. Among his victims are his mother (Frances Conroy) and talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro), and he ends the film at an asylum, fully devoted to his psychotic deeds and identity.


EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT THE PLOT TO JOKER 2

Joker: Folie à Deux will pick up with Arthur still incarcerated at Arkham State Hospital. There, he forms a connection with Harleen Quinzel (Lady Gaga). The two form a romantic duo that spreads their madness together throughout Gotham City, while partaking in their shared love of music and seemingly incorporating it into their evil works. The catch going in, however, is that a lot of events in the first Joker are either confirmed or hinted as being figments of Arthur’s imagination. The film is ambiguous enough that its entirety could have been in his head. So, the sudden addition of a musical component could very well be taking those delusions to the next level.

Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix dance as Harley Quinn and Joker by night in front of a neon sign that reads Hotel Arkham
Everything We Know About Joker: Folie à Deux – a still from the trailer of Joker 2 (Warner Bros. Pictures)

WHO MADE JOKER : FOLIE À DEUX?

On top of directing, Todd Phillips cowrote the screenplay with Scott Silver. Hildur Guðnadóttir, Lawrence Sher, and Jeff Groth return from the first film as composer, cinematographer, and editor respectively. The film was produced by Todd Phillips, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and Joseph Garner under Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, Bron Creative, Joint Effort, and DC Films.


WHO IS IN JOKER 2? THE CAST & CHARACTERS OF FOLIE À DEUX

Joaquin Phoenix reprises his Oscar-winning role as Arthur Fleck from the 2019 Joker. This time, he’s joined by Lady Gaga as Harleen Quinzel, a popular DC character also known as Harley Quinn. Zazie Beetz (Nine Days) also returns as Sophie, Arthur’s neighbor whom he imagined as being his girlfriend in Joker. Jacob Lofland (Mud) will play an Arkham inmate who forms a relationship with Arthur, as was reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Catherine Keener (The Adam Project), Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), and Steve Coogan (Despicable Me 4) are also confirmed to be in the film, although their roles are currently unknown.


IS JOKER 2 A MUSICAL?

Joker: Folie à Deux will, indeed, be a musical. By all accounts, it will go the jukebox musical route and contain sequences with at least 15 covers of pre-existing songs, one of which is reported to be “That’s Entertainment!” from the film The Band Wagon. Director Todd Phillips apparently wanted to do something different for the sequel to his big 2019 hit, although he states that this direction isn’t too far of a departure from the first film. After all, Arthur Fleck expresses himself through dancing and other music-related activities in Joker, so I can see how the approach for Joker: Folie à Deux would be the next logical step.

Hildur Guðnadóttir still returns to score the film, having won an Oscar for composing the first Joker. It’ll be interesting to hear how she adapts her previous style to fit the sequel’s different format and soundtrack, and whether or not her results will be just as experimental.


WHAT DOES FOLIE À DEUX MEAN?

The official title for Joker 2 is Joker: Folie à Deux. The phrase “folie à deux” is French and translates to “madness for two,” which obviously refers to the shared insanity of Arthur Fleck and his new lover.


IS THERE A TRAILER FOR JOKER 2?

Yes, the first trailer came out on April 10, 2024. It features the Sammy Davis Jr./Tom Jones version of the song, “What the World Needs Now is Love,” which fits the setup of Arthur Fleck finding romance in Gaga’s Harley Quinn. You can watch the trailer here:

Joker 2: Official Teaser Trailer (Warner Bros. Pictures)

WHY SHOULD WE LOOK FORWARD TO JOKER: FOLIE À DEUX?

The first Joker has more in common with an old-school Martin Scorsese film than a Batman story, drenched in slow, unflinching dread as it dives deeper into the twisted mind of its titular character. You sympathize with Arthur greatly at the start of the film, which makes his descent into madness as terrifying as it is tragic. Joker touches upon the neglect of the mentally ill and lower class while remaining character-driven, focusing on raw, psychological horror rather than constant bloodshed.

With so much of the same crew returning to Joker: Folie à Deux, my hope is that it will carry over everything that worked so well about its predecessor while continuing the story and succeeding with its different, musical spin. On top of that, Lady Gaga should make for a hugely magnetic co-lead considering her established acting prowess and her (hopefully) juicy material that’s on par with Phoenix’s.


IS JOKER 2 RATED R?

Yes. Much like the previous film, Joker: Folie à Deux is rated R for strong violence, language, and some sexuality. Which means if your kid’s a big Batman fan, maybe don’t take them to see this one. Or maybe do it anyway if you want them to grow up really, really fast.


WHEN DOES JOKER 2 COME OUT? THE RELEASE DATE OF JOKER: FOLIE À DEUX

Joker: Folie à Deux will be released overseas on October 2, 2024 and in the United States on October 4, 2024, roughly five years after the original film’s release. Which means that’s also around when you can expect a new wave of whiners spouting about how the movie’s going to spawn a new generation of killers and psychopaths. They said that would happen when Joker came out, and clearly all the world’s problems in the 2020s have been the movie’s fault.


WILL JOKER: FOLIE À DEUX BE AVAILABLE ON STREAMING?

Joker 2 will be an exclusive theatrical release and not initially available on any streaming services. Considering it’s a Warner Bros. release, and that Joker is currently on Max, it’s a safe bet that this sequel will eventually come to Max as well. And given the current theatrical climate, that may happen either a few months or a few weeks into its theatrical run. Considering the first Joker is the highest-grossing R-rated movie ever, one would hope it has a healthy enough box office to stay in theaters for a decent amount of time.

Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix stand close to one another dressed as Harley Quinn and Joker against a black background in Folie à Deux
Everything We Know About Joker: Folie à Deux – a still from Joker 2 (Todd Phillips)

IS BATMAN IN JOKER 2?

There’s been no confirmation that any version of Batman will show up in Joker: Folie à Deux. Bruce Wayne appears in the first Joker as a child, and we see him witness the infamous murder of his parents in the film’s climax. So, we have a movie about a comic book villain without its heroic arch-nemesis, yet people are still looking forward to it. Take notes, Sony. Actually, please don’t, because I can use more Madame Web-level trainwrecks.


IS HARVEY DENT IN JOKER 2?

Set photos for Joker: Folie à Deux show protestors holding up a sign that reads, “Harvey Dent is the Clown.” So, we have confirmation that the popular Batman character Harvey Dent exists in this world, but that doesn’t mean he’ll definitely be in the movie. There are rumors that Bradley Cooper will play the part, but those are about as unreliable as America’s election system, so don’t go in expecting to see him.


IS THERE A POSTER FOR JOKER: FOLIE À DEUX?

Yes, there is. Take a look below:

The poster for Joker 2: Folie à Deux, featured in a Loud and Clear article with everything we know about the movie
Everything We Know About Joker: Folie à Deux – The poster for Joker 2 (Warner Bros. Pictures)

JOKER 2 SET PHOTOS

A few Joker: Folie à Deux set photos have been making the rounds. One of my favorites is this one, which is pretty simple with Joaquin and Gaga looking suitably disheveled and unsure of the situation before them:

Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix sit with smudged makeup in a set photo of Joker 2: Folie à Deux, featured in a Loud and Clear article with everything we know about the movie
Everything We Know About Joker: Folie à Deux – a set photo of Joker 2 (GC Images)

My personal favorite photos show the two of them dancing on the iconic stairway from the first movie, giving us a taste of what they’ll look like in action as a duo:

Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix dance on the stairs in a set photo of Joker 2: Folie à Deux, featured in a Loud and Clear article with everything we know about the movie
Everything We Know About Joker: Folie à Deux – a set photo of Joker 2 (James Devaney/GC Images)

WILL JOKER 2 PREMIERE AT THE VENICE FILM FESTIVAL?

It is looking very likely that Joker: Folie à Deux will premiere at the Venice Film Festival. In fact, it’s one of the 20 films we predicted we’ll see at the festival, especially when considering how the first film also premiered there. The lineup will be officially announced on July 23, so we’ll know for sure very soon!


Joker: Folie à Deux will be released globally in theaters on October 2-4, 2024.

Joker film review: Everything we hoped it would be – Loud and Clear
Joaquin Phoenix shines as Joker in an origin story that is drenched in emotion, which might just be the best film of the year.
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