Who says Valentine's Day can't have some jokes? Director Todd Phillips took to Instagram to unveil the first look at Lady Gaga in the sequel Joker: Folie à Deux. While her role is currently under wraps, all signs appear to point to the multi-hyphenate portraying iconic DC character Harley Quinn. The Joker sequel is set to release on October 4, 2024.
Gaga isn't alone in the image, which sees the return of Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck/Joker. He's complete in marred clown makeup and clearly happy to be in the embrace of her character. Plot details are not known at the moment. However, this image appears to correlate with Harley Quinn's origin as Joker's psychiatrist in Arkham Asylum, the presumed location for the sequel. The ending of Joker found Arthur having his way in the famed Gotham facility.
This marks Phillips's second look at the Joker sequel, with the director offering a glimpse at Fleck being shaved a few months ago to announce the start of filming. Folie à Deux is confirmed to be a musical, a far cry from the tone and feel of the original film. A new direction could be just what this sequel needs, and Gaga is undoubtedly a talent with her acting and singing. It's all too easy to imagine a tender scene between Joker and Harley bringing chaos upon Arkham and its inmates.
Joining Gaga in the sequel will be Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich), Jacob Lofland (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials), and Harry Lawtey (Industry). Zazie Beetz (Atlanta) is the only actor announced to reprise her role (alongside Phoenix), portraying Arthur's "love interest," Sophie. Phillips is returning as both director and screenwriter, alongside writer Scott Silver. Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir is also returning, having won an Academy Award for her work on the first film.
Folie à Deux will take place in DC's newly-announced Elseworlds timeline, along with Matt Reeves's Batman projects. Gaga should become the second live-action actress to portray Quinn, following in the footsteps of Margot Robbie in both Suicide Squad films. At the moment, it's unclear if James Gunn and Peter Safran, DC Studios co-chairs, have any plans for the clown princess of crime.
Joker was an immense commercial success in 2019, grossing over $1 billion. The critical reception was a bit more mixed. While critics praised the performances and tone, its depiction of mental illness was received rather poorly. Academy Award nominations were received in bounds, with the film securing eleven in total. Phoenix won his first Academy Award for his performance, with Phillips being nominated in the Best Director category.
Joker: Folie à Deux is set to release on October 4, 2024, with the release marking five years to the day of the original's release. Stay tuned to Collider for more updates on this sequel. Listen below to Gleeson talk about why he couldn't pass up working with Phillips on this Joker sequel.