The Joker is back — and he has company.
Lady Gaga, previously announced to have joined Joaquin Phoenix in the sequel to 2019’s Joker, has taken her first step out as the movie’s more grounded take on Harley Quinn. With Joker: Folie à Deux currently shooting around New York City and Newark, New Jersey, it was only a matter of time before the pair was spotted in costume and character. Gaga did not disappoint.
Though the DC movie universe has seen a radical shift in the years since Joker, with the Zack Snyder-produced “DCEU” movies taking a backseat to a new shared universe spearheaded by James Gunn, a theoretical sequel to Todd Phillips’ smash-hit R-rated spin on the Batman villain was always a dream for Warner Bros. and the director. But would star Phoenix, who won an Oscar for his turn as the disturbed Arthur Fleck, return for Joker 2? How could Phillips sequelize such a grounded take on the comic book material? Would a rebooted DCU support it?
The answer to all the questions was: Yes, as long as things got weird. And they’re getting weird.
Not only will Joker: Folie à Deux pick back up with Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck after his anarchical outburst at the end of the first Joker, but Phillips has teased that the sequel is actually a full-blown musical. While Margot Robbie successfully brought Harley Quinn to live-action in Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey, Gaga steps in to put a new spin on Joker’s romantic interest, with the pipes to belt whatever hallucinatory musical elements Phillips has brought to the table. And none of it will be beholden to what Gunn and his collaborators are cooking up elsewhere in the DCU; the movie has officially been classified as an “Elseworlds” project, set outside the continuity.
Little else is known of the plot of Joker 2, but based on set photos, Gaga’s Harley has her fans in the form of a crowd of protesters, who are there to show support as she’s walked into the courthouse by cops. In a previous close-up character reveal, shared by Phillips on Instagram on Valentine’s Day, we saw a pre-Jokerized version of the character — more of a Harleen Frances Quinzel rather than a full-blown Harley Quinn — but here we see her with makeup and threads that complete the lewk.
Joker: Folie à Deux is set to hit theaters on Oct. 4, 2024.