Joker 2 Replacing Margot Robbie As Harley Quinn With A Pop Star

This news is nuts!

By Michileen Martin | Published

margot robbie

We already knew a sequel to the 2019 hit Joker was on the way, but today we’ve learned some news that — taken together — sounds just as bananas as the mental health status of the Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck. But on the top of the list is the introduction of Harley Quinn into Fleck’s story, but not the version already portrayed in three feature films by Margot Robbie. Instead, pop star Lady Gaga is being cast as the woman known across the world as the only one to ever refer to the Clown Prince of Crime as “Puddin’.”

The scoop comes from The Hollywood Reporter, who says that Lady Gaga is in “early talks” to play Harley Quinn in the sequel to Joker, and while the casting may seem surprising it makes sense given all the connections involved. Bradley Cooper — the acting lead in all of Joker director Todd Phillips’ The Hangover films — was a producer on Joker, and Lady Gaga’s director and co-star in 2018’s A Star Is Born. But there’s another reason someone like Gaga makes more sense as Harley Quinn than Margot Robbie in this case. THR is also reporting that the Joker sequel — with the working title of Joker: Folie à deux — will be a musical.

No — you read that correctly. Joker: Folie à deux is going to be a musical. As in, characters like Joker and Harley Quinn will occasionally break into song and dance numbers.

So, while Margot Robbie played Harley Quinn in the two Suicide Squad movies and 2019’s Birds of Prey, you can understand why someone like Lady Gaga might be more desirable in a musical. Joaquin Phoenix is not, like Gaga, a pop star but he’s got some singing chops. When the Gladiator star played Johnny Cash in 2005’s Walk the Line, both he and co-star Reese Witherspoon reportedly performed all of their own songs. Of course we’re guessing the go-to tunes for Arthur Fleck won’t be “A Boy Named Sue” or “Cocaine Blues,” but we’re sure he’s got some range he’s ready to show off.

As THR notes, like the first Joker, the follow-up Joker: Folie à deux takes place in a narrative completely separate from that of the DCEU; meaning that Lady Gaga playing Harley Quinn doesn’t exclude Margot Robbie from reprising the role at some point. It’s the same reason that ever since the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, we’ve seen three different live-action big screen versions of Joker — Jared Leto, Joaquin Phoenix, and most recently Barry Koeghan in this year’s The Batman. And let’s be honest: considering Jared Leto’s Joker is about as well-loved as an open mouthed cough in an infectious disease ward, we’ll probably be getting yet another Joker actor to replace him relatively soon.

margot robbie harley quinn
Margot Robbie in The Suicide Squad (2021)

As for if/when we’re destined to next see Margot Robbie play Harley Quinn, we’re still waiting for updates. Her last appearance as the character was in last year’s The Suicide Squad, and writer/director James Gunn recently admitted he hasn’t begun any kind of work on a sequel. Gunn’s experiences making HBO Max’s Peacemaker were apparently so rewarding that he foresees himself working solely in television for “the next year.”