When Joker hit screens back in 2019, it became one of the truly surprising hits we’ve seen in some time, reimagining the Clown Prince of Crime’s origin story in a completely different way. Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix somewhat unexpectedly created a franchise that will now become an offshoot of the DC Cinematic Universe. And with it, we will get Joker 2, mysteriously titled Joker: Folie a Deux.
Though the movie is still a ways off from hitting the big screen, there is quite a bit we know about Joker 2 and what to expect from this Arthur Fleck follow-up. Let’s take a look at what’s coming down the pike and how it relates (or doesn’t) to the broader DC Cinematic Universe.
JOAQUIN PHOENIX IS RETURNING FOR JOKER 2
Of course, we wouldn’t have a sequel without Joaquin Phoenix returning as the titular character. Phoenix was masterful in the first movie, creepy and disaffected in such an off-putting way that it was almost difficult to watch at times. But though the movie had a definitively different feel than other comic book movies we’ve seen, taking it in a darker and much more disturbing lane, it worked.
So much of that was because of how Joaquin Phoenix inhabited the role almost fully. His turn as Arthur Fleck in his transformation to the Joker was among the best performances we’ve seen in some time.
For his efforts, Joaquin Phoenix received enormous and much-deserved critical acclaim throughout the industry. And he even landed in award circles as well. Phoenix walked away with the Academy Award for Best Actor as well as a number of lower-level honors.
And getting him back in character looks like it’s already happened in a pretty creepy way. Some early shots from the set of Joker 2 have floated around Instagram. Check it out.
Yikes. Just the overall vibe of this picture from the skin tone to the gaunt frame to the shaving has all the makings of another disturbing trip into the world of Arthur Fleck.
LADY GAGA IS JOINING THE JOKER 2 CAST AS HARLEEN QUINZEL
In a sign that this movie was going star-powered, and possibly very weird, they added Lady Gaga to the cast as Harleen Quinzel. Whether this is supposed to be a character who eventually becomes Harley Quinn or is just meant to distinguish between previous versions isn’t quite clear.
But for all intents and purposes, characters are effectively the same, with Quinzel a psychiatrist who is treating Fleck in some way during the movie. We know that’s the background for Harley Quinn as well, starting as a doctor before going insane herself at the hands of the Joker in the comic books.
It looks like Joker 2 will take the same tact but just alter the name a bit. Some of this could be to avoid confusion with the previous Margot Robbie version of the character.
Though we haven’t seen exactly what the character will look like in the movie, there were some fan art images circulating to give at least something of a sense of how this could work.
But knowing how the original movie rolled, it’s unlikely we get such a 1:1 to the original comic book character or even the Robbie version. It’s much more likely we get a more subdued, or even darkly weird style when Harleen Quinzel hits the screen.
ZAZIE BEETZ WILL RETURN TO THE CAST
Zazie Beetz played Sophie Drummond in the first movie, Arthur Fleck’s neighbor and love interest. Of course, not everything was as it seemed there, with their “story” acting as the real look into how far Fleck’s psyche was drilled drown into psychosis.
Though they really didn’t know each other in the first movie outside of what Phoenix’s character was imagining, she will be back in this one. And the presumption is that she will play a large role, this time maybe as the actual person in the flick.
JOKER: FOLIE A DEUX WILL BE A MUSICAL
This was another surprising turn in the news around Joker 2. The rumors seemed somewhat ridiculous at first but it’s since been confirmed that this will be a musical, or at a minimum, it will have musical elements.
In this way, the Lady Gaga casting makes sense beyond just her ability to act (which she obviously can). And the original movie had music as some of its core elements and tone setting as well. It won an Academy Award for those efforts the first time around.
There’s no exact word at this date just how the musical elements will work into this movie but don’t expect some uplifting and feel-good musical romps. This could be something else entirely.
THIS UNIVERSE WILL BE PART OF DC ELSEWORLDS
James Gunn took to the internet to announce the newest upcoming lineup for the DC Cinematic Universe and how he and Peter Safran will reset the studio. Most characters and properties are getting a new look and they will begin distancing the stories from the Justice League run.
But Gunn was clear that movies and franchises like this version of Joker as well as the Robert Pattinson Batman character world will continue on. They will be part of the DC Elseworlds timeline and not be overlapping with the DC Cinematic Universe.
This is all to say that Phoenix as Joker and Pattinson as Batman with the latter’s whole Matt Reeves-led universe are safe under the Warner Bros. banner.
JOKER 2 WILL RELEASE ON OCTOBER 4, 2024
It will still be some time before we see Joker 2 on the big screen. Considering how much the first one made at the box office (north of $1 billion dollars) there’s a sense that it will be well worth the wait. It was one of the biggest financial critical surprises we’ve seen in some time. And though it sure seemed like the movie was also set as a one-and-done, it’s pretty amazing to see it getting a sequel.
Joker 2 or Joker: Folie a Deux will release in theaters on October 4, 2024, setting the stage for Halloween of that year.
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