Lady Gaga recently confirmed via tweet that she is set to appear as Harley Quinn in Joker: Folie à Deux, the sequel to the 2019 joker. The teaser for the sequel, which Gaga included in her tweet, revealed that the film will be released in 2024. The original joker — which told the origin of the villain while drawing inspiration from Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy — was a box office smash and even earned Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar for Best Actor.
However, it also was the subject of controversy for the ways it addressed issues such as mental illness and violence. With the original film’s director, Todd Phillips returning along with Phoenix, the sequel has the potential to shake up the comic book movie world again. Not only will the film address controversial subjects, but it will also set itself apart through the type of movie it will be, with one of the most popular singers/songwriters in the world in tow.
Joker: Folie à Deux looks ready to court controversy again with its depiction of the mentally ill since it will allegedly be largely set in the infamous Arkham Asylum. Not only will the movie likely show the titular villain interacting with other patients but also starting his relationship with Dr. Harleen Quinzel, aka Harley Quinn. As previously established, the Crown Prince of Crime seduced and brainwashed Quinn in the asylum, eventually driving her to stray from her initial calling as a psychologist.
The description of the relationship between Joker and Harley should also stir things up with viewers since many have rightfully termed their relationship as abusive. Neither Phillips, Phoenix, nor Gaga has ever been one to shy away from controversy, so it can be expected that the second joker will follow the first film’s lead and depict the relationship in a disturbing way — which could be potentially triggering to a good percentage of viewers.
Another aspect of Joker: Folie à Deux that will make it jarring to some is that it is expected to be a musical. Although some comic book movies and TV shows — peacemaker being a very good example — are known for their soundtracks, they do not usually feature musical numbers throughout with actors singing and dancing. It will be interesting to see if mass audiences go along with Phillips’ unique vision for the film.
Some fans also may not be ready for another actor to take on the role of Harley Quinn after Margot Robbie did it so well in three DC movies — and has not relinquished the character yet. However, it has been established that Phillips’ joker movies are in a separate universe from the other DC movies. And Gaga has proven herself to be a strong, versatile performer in movies like A Star is Born and even almost appeared in bullet train. No matter how much her Harley differs from Robbie’s, audiences can expect her to give the role her all — which is what the character deserves.
Audiences have a long wait ahead for Joker: Folie à Deux, but that may be a blessing in disguise for fans. In the end, the prolonged release gives Phillips and his crew more time to make a better, more carefully crafted movie for audiences to watch and enjoy — or argue about.
Watch the Joker and Harley sing their hearts out when Joker: Folie à Deux opens in theaters on Oct. 4, 2024.