Todd Philips’ 2019 hit Joker took the iconic Batman villain away from the cartoonish world of Suicide Squad and explored his origins via a dark, psychological thriller that reflected the everyday world – all corruption, economic turmoil and deceit. Inspired by Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and starring an acclaimed Joaquin Phoenix as the titular villain, it went on to receive 11 Oscar nominations (winning Best Original Score and Best Actor) and became the first R-rated film to gross over $1billion worldwide.
Rumours of a sequel have been circling since the film was released, with the cast and crew playing coy. But now a follow-up has been confirmed, with Philips’ sharing an image of the script for Joker: Folie à Deux on Instagram. Here’s everything we know so far.
- Lady Gaga has shared a first-look image of herself in character
- Industry star Harry Lawtey has joined the cast
- Brendan Gleeson has been cast in an unknown role
- Zazie Beetz is in talks to reprise her role as Sophie Dumond
- Lady Gaga is officially confirmed as Harley Quinn
- The upcoming sequel will indeed be a musical, confirming previous speculation
Is there a release date?
Yes, and there’s a script
As reported by Deadline on August 3, the sequel is scheduled to be released on October 4, 2024. Production is slated to begin in December later this year.
Filming has yet to start on Joker 2 but there is a script, with Philips sharing an image of Phoenix reading one on Instagram.
Who will star in the sequel?
Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga take the lead, while Zazie Beetz returns and Brendan Gleeson and Harry Lawtey join
As expected, Phoenix will be reprising his role as Clown Prince of Crime for the upcoming sequel, and he’ll be joined by Lada Gaga, who, following much speculation, has now officially been cast as Harley Quinn. She recently shared a first-look image of herself in character.
More surprising, perhaps, is the news that Zazie Beetz is currently in talks to reprise her role as Sophie Dumond. In the first film, her fate was left ambiguous after it was revealed that her relationship with Arthur was just one of his delusions. If she was indeed killed, there’s every chance she’ll be returning as a fantasy, rather than a real human being.
Joker: Folie à Deux
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 4, 2022
While it’s not yet confirmed, there’s also a chance we may see the return of Dante Pereira-Olson as Bruce Wayne, whose parents were gunned down by Joker-inspired protestors towards the end of the first movie.
One new actor who has been confirmed is Brendan Gleeson as per Deadline, although his role is yet to be confirmed.
Industry star Harry Lawtey will also be joining the cast. Details are being kept under wraps, but Deadline reports that his role could be a “big” one.
Will it be a musical?
A Joker Is Born?
According to the same reports which touted Gaga to play Harley Quinn, Joker 2 will apparently be a musical. Sharing a title with a Fall Out Boy album isn’t the only connection Joker 2 has with the world of music though, with Phillips previously producing A Star Is Born, (which starred Joker producer Bradley Cooper and potential Joker 2 star Gaga). There’s also the important of the soundtrack to the original film, picking up an Oscar for Best Score.
What’s the plot going to be?
Joker left a blank slate to work with
The end of Joker saw our face-painted murderer breaking out of psychiatric hospital/prison Arkham Asylum, before joining a chaotic, violent riot on the streets of Gotham.
While the original film was very loosely based on 1988 standalone comic Batman: The Killing Joke, Philips has said they didn’t look at existing media for inspirations, going on to explain that “the goal was never to introduce Joaquin Phoenix into the comic book movie universe. The goal was to introduce comic book movies into the Joaquin Phoenix universe.” He’s also turned down comic book movies previously because he thought they were too “loud”.
So, it’s fair to assume that Joker 2 won’t be relying much on existing lore for inspiration. However, the title Folie á Deux does give us a few clues about possible directions the film may go in. French for “a madness of two”, the title has some people expecting the film to explore the relationship between Harley Quinn and Joker.
In an interview alongside Phoenix earlier this year, Willem Dafoe said he wanted to play a version of the Joker. Speaking to GQ, he said: “There is something interesting about, like, if there was a Joker imposter. So it would be possible to have not duelling Jokers but someone that [claims] to be the Joker that isn’t the Joker.“
“And that kind of opens up the possibility of an interesting story, particularly if you had Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, and then you had someone who was either imitating or riffing off what he did. I fantasised about that.”
Will there be a Joker Extended Universe?
A multiverse of literal madness
According to producer Bradley Cooper, when Philips first told him about Joker, he said: “Listen, I have this crazy idea for this altered version of DC, and the first one is the origin story of the Joker,” suggesting plans for future movies.
And while the cast and crew spent a good few months saying Joker was a standalone movie, they toyed with the idea of a sequel numerous times, with Phoenix saying, “ I can’t stop thinking about (playing Joker). I talked to Todd a lot about what else we might be able to do, in general, just to work together, but also specifically, if there’s something else we can do with Joker that might be interesting. So, it ended up being a dream role.”
He added: “Me and Todd would still be shooting now if we could, right? Because it seemed endless, the possibilities of where we can go with the character.”