Joker 2: Everything We Know About Folie a Deux

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Madness breeds madness – and in this case, audiences couldn’t be more excited for Joker 2, or rather, Joker: Folie a Deux, which is the official title. 2019’s Joker was one of the best reviewed movies of the 21st century with critics and fans universally praising Joaquin Phoenix for his performance as well as Todd Phillips for his direction. Phoenix won the Oscar for Best Male Performance thanks to his rendition of the Joker, DC’s most notorious and deadly villain, and added to the legacy that the fictional character has built up over the years (we recently made an epic episode of WTF Happened to this Movie about it). And now, that legacy will continue to grow with a sequel.

Joker: Folie a Deux will be a follow-up to the 2019 origin story that Phillips brought to the screen and will allow audiences to once again enjoy the character that they’ve come to love (and despise) so very much. Now, fans shouldn’t put the cart before the horse as the sequel’s not set to hit theaters for another year and a half, but seeing as how fans have already waited more than three years for the sequel, it’s safe to assume that hype is at an all time high. So, with all of that hype building up, let’s take a look at everything we know about Joker: Folie a Deux so far.

First Images & Trailer:

While a trailer for Joker 2 is likely months away, Phillips has been generous as far as images teasing the look of his Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck and Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn go. Phillips recently shared the following to Instagram:

Here’s an early look he posted of Gaga in character (to note, on set she wanted to be referred to as “Lee” which , of course, is short for Harley.

The Plot

As stated, Joker 2 won’t be reportedly coming out for another year and a half (and that’s provided everything goes right with filming and post-production). So, with the film still so far out, and with the production team wanting to keep the movie under wraps, audiences have been given surprisingly little about what they can expect from the sequel in terms of the plot. The small pieces of information that fans know about are that Harley Quinn will be playing a significant role in the film and that at least part of it will take place in Arkham Asylum.

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Another important piece of information about the movie (that will more than likely affect the plot in some way) is that the movie will be actually be a musical. The choice was reportedly made due to the dancing related themes incorporated in the first movie, combined with the casting choice of Lady Gaga as the infamous Harley Quinn. Gaga’s musical background undoubtedly played a part in choosing to have the film be more musically driven and her experience with acting/creating music made the choice a no-brainer.

The last piece of information regarding the plot is that fans need to remember that this particular movie, as well as its predecessor, are not part of James Gunn’s upcoming DCU and will therefore be under the category of DC Elseworlds – stand alone projects set in the DC Universe. This isn’t new information as the original Joker was never part of the larger universe that DC attempted and failed to make, but nevertheless it should still be noted.

Joker: Folie a Deux – The Cast

Joaquin Phoenix gained an Oscar and universal acclaim for his rendition of the Joker so it’s no surprise to anyone that he’ll be returning to play Arthur Fleck/The Joker for the sequel. A notable piece of information to take into account is that thanks to Phoenix’s Oscar-winning performance, his payday for the sequel will be $20 million, opposed to the $4 million that he received for the original movie.

However, as discussed earlier, the biggest addition to the sequel in terms of star-power will be Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. Despite Margot Robbie playing the character for the past decade in three separate DC projects, Robbie has praised the casting choice of Gaga as Quinn and believes that she’ll do an amazing job with the character, saying:

“I think she’s going to do an amazing job. I’m so excited. All I could have ever hoped for Harley is that she would become one of those characters that, kind of like Batman, or Hamlet, gets handed from actor to actor—everyone gets a go at playing them. So, I feel like it’s just a credit to her as a character that people want to see her in multiple interactions. I’m excited.”

After Lady Gaga, other notable actors/actresses that have been added to the cast are Jacob Lofland, Catherine Keener, and Brenden Gleeson. Lofland is reportedly playing an inmate from the Arkham Asylum, and there hasn’t yet been any word on who Keener and Gleeson will be playing. Another new name for the movie is Harry Lawtey (star if HBO’s Industry) who has also been cast in an undisclosed role, however it’s been reported that his role will be a “big” one for the series.

  Topical Musings

Another name that audiences will be familiar with is Zazie Beetz who played Sophie in the first Joker film. While it was revealed that her and Arthur’s relationship was completely concocted inside Arthur’s head, her overall fate was never revealed in the film. Also, while nothing has officially been confirmed, Zazie has publicly stated that she believes Sophie is still alive in the series. With all of that being said, fans shouldn’t expect to see Zazie in the upcoming sequel, but it’s a very real possibility.

Did It Finish Shooting Before the Strike?

Filming officially wrapped back in April 2023, well before the SAG-AFTRA strike occurred, so the film likely won’t be delayed unless WB opts to push it deeper into the awards corridor.

The Release Date:

Joker: Folie a Deux is currently slated for an October 4, 2024 release date. Chances are, it will follow the original film and have a fall festival premiere (likely in Venice, maybe TIFF too).

The Soundtrack:

While Lady Gaga will presumably have a lot to do with the songs, the original composer Hildur Guðnadóttir will also be returning.

What does the Joker 2 title mean?

Folie a Deux (the film’s official title) actually translates to “madness of two” and refers to ‘shared psychosis’ in which “delusion or mental illness is shared by two people in close association”. It can be safely assumed that the title is referring to the relationship that will undoubtedly spread between Joker and Harley Quinn.

How Was It Filmed?

Joker: Folie a Deux was partly shot with IMAX cameras by DP Lawrence Sher.

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Everything Else:

Another piece of information that fans might find interesting is that despite being set in New York City, filming actually still took place in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, it’s been revealed in set-photos that the sequel will return to the infamous “Joker-steps” from the first movie. It’s also assumed that since the movie will be a musical, Gaga will be writing the music for at least one of the songs that she will undoubtedly perform during the film – it’s well known that Gaga writes/co-writes all of her own music and has already won an Oscar herself for writing/performing the song “Shallow” in A Star is Born back in 2018.

So, even though fans won’t get a chance to see how The Joker and Harley Quinn get wrapped up in another crazy villainous adventure for quite some time, fans can rest well knowing that the wait will be more than worth it.