Lady Gaga visits the iconic New York City stairs from the first Joker movie.
Behind-the scenes-images from Joker: Folie à Deux (“madness for two”) continue to parade across the internet. The latest image from the Twitter account DiscussingFilm shows Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn on the iconic steps Joaquin Phoenix danced down in the first Joker. The steps were the site of a turning point for the character, and the origin point for an entire meme genre.
The return to the legendary steps has been met by fans on social media with mixed feelings, as have many of the details to come out about the project. Some groaned at the prospect of rehashing a famous scene, while others were optimistic about the symbolic parallel the location could lend to the sequel.
The image reveals Lady Gaga in a short dress and black fur coat shouldering a handbag on the famous Gotham City staircase, actually located in the Bronx. Here, Lady Gaga still looks relatively normal in contrast to images revealing the actress in her clownish Harley Quinn attire. Variety reported the first official look at Gaga and Phoenix in the sequel when Todd Phillips shared an image of the pair on Valentine’s Day.
Set to hit theaters in October of 2024, Joker 2 looks to expand on the billion-dollar 2019 hit. Little is known about the plot of the film, but Lady Gaga made waves on the internet with the announcement of her blockbuster casting as Joker’s love interest, Harley Quinn. Gaga earning the part immediately cast concerns on Margot Robbie’s future in the part.
Robbie has earned much love from fans during her time as Harley Quinn. Lady Gaga coming on as another version of Harley Quinn created fears that Robbie would be replaced, but DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn stated that Robbie’s role in the DCU is secure.
Joker 2 will join films like The Batman in what Gunn calls DC Elseworlds, projects from the studio that exist outside of the main timeline canon of the DCU. The freedom afforded to writer/director Todd Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver by the Elseworlds classification will allow the team to continue their gritty, R-rated interpretation of the Joker, while adding another unexpected element: musical numbers.
The film has long been rumored to be a musical, but footage of Lady Gaga singing musical numbers on set seems to confirm the whisperings. Lady Gaga is a talented actress, but the musical demands of the new Harley Quinn role make her casting appear even stronger.
Lady Gaga was seen just weeks ago giving a profound vocal performance at the 2023 Oscars. She opted out of the typical glamor of the show, instead singing her song “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick in jeans and a baggy t-shirt, her red carpet makeup wiped away. However, she will don plenty of makeup in her upcoming turn as Harley Quinn.
As she continues to dominate her place in the music industry, Lady Gaga has made a successful leap from music to acting. She joined the critically acclaimed FX series American Horror Story in 2015, but her breakthrough as an actress came with her Oscar-nominated performance in 2019’s A Star is Born. Gaga won the Oscar for Best Original Song with the film’s hit tune “Shallow.”
Lady Gaga will follow up her 2021 outing in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci with her role as Harley Quinn in Joker 2. The first Joker defied expectations across the board. It carried a modest budget for a comic book film, but outperformed many of its genre contemporaries with over a billion dollars at the box office, despite its R rating. The film also earned Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar for his performance.
Joker 2 has a high bar to live up to. Already, the film has been met with equal doses of excitement and skepticism. But with its bold creative direction and all-star cast, Lady Gaga and Harley Quinn may just get the last laugh.