See Lady Gaga As Harley Quinn In First Joker 2 Image

Lady Gaga appears as Harleen Quinzel in this first image from Joker 2.

By Zack Zagranis | Published

lady gaga joker 2

Todd Phillips gave DC fans the best Valentine ever yesterday when he posted a picture of Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn from Joker 2 on his Instagram. The Joker director posted the picture with the caption, “Happy Valentine’s Day.” The picture gives us our first sneak peek at Gaga in the role since her casting was first announced.

The picture shows a close-up of the “Bad Romance” singer backed against a wall face to face with Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. The American Horror Story actress looks both frightened and somewhat exhilarated as she holds Pheonix’s face in her hands. From the picture, it looks like Lady Gaga could be pulling the Joker closer, possibly for a kiss in the Joker 2 scene.

Knowing the Joker, she could just as easily be trying to hold the maniac away from her. The Harley Quinn/Joker dynamic has always been very problematic. The clown prince of crime is a physically abusive, emotionally manipulative lover in every incarnation of his “romance” with Harley. It will be interesting to see how the relationship between Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix is treated in Joker 2.

Joker 2 or Joker: Folie à Deux if you want to get fancy, is a strange beast. It’s a sequel to 2019s’ Joker, a film that asked the question, “what if Taxi Driver wore clown makeup?” and then answered that question by making over $1 Billion at the box office. One would assume that the new film would continue the “Goodfellas meets Bozo” aesthetic. However, Phillips has also announced the movie will be a musical, so who knows?

If the film really is a musical, it only makes sense that Phillips would cast Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn in Joker 2. The actress has, after all, been known to dabble in music from time to time. Gaga will only be the third actress to depict Quinn in live-action, following Mia Sara in the Birds of Prey television series and Margot Robbie in the Birds of Prey movie (as well as a couple of Suicide Squad flicks).

Harley Quinn is usually portrayed as a psychiatrist treating the Joker, who, through emotional and mental manipulation, becomes smitten with the psychotic murderer. While information about Folie à Deux is scarce this early into production, it’s assumed Lady Gaga will be filling a similar role in Joker 2. The first Joker did end with the title character being committed to a psychiatric hospital, so it’s very possible that the sequel picks up there.

Anyone familiar with the first Joker knows that it’s very much its own thing in terms of an adaptation, so Lady Gaga could be playing a very different type of Harley in Joker 2. James Gunn recently deemed the Todd Philips movies separate from his new mainline DCU, allowing Philips to go nuts with how fast and loose he wants to be with the source material. Maybe this Harley is even crazier than her green-haired beau.

Unfortunately, we won’t get to see Lady Gaga in action as Harley Quinn until Joker 2 is released in late 2024. Until then, we’ll just have to be satisfied with tasty crumbs like this Instagram post to tide us over.