Joker 2: Lady Gaga teases Harley Quinn & Everything Else We Know

It looks as though director Todd Phillips has officially finished Joker: Folie a Deux, with the MPAA officially granting it an R-rating for “some strong violence, language throughout, some sexuality, and brief full nudity.” On the latter, it looks like Joker is about to show us the full monty, doesn’t it? At any rate, the R-rating isn’t a surprise, as that’s what the first film got, and I imagine a PG-13 sequel would have landed with a thud, as fans expect this to be as hardcore and uncompromising as the original. 

Here’s the poster:

joker 2 poster

But, what else do we know about Joker: Folie a Deux? Plenty!

Lady Gaga teases an “authentic” portrayal

Many are wondering how Lady Gaga’s portrayal of Harley Quinn will match up to Margot Robbie in the Suicide Squad movies and Birds of Prey. In a recent interview with Access Hollywood, the singer/actress remained coy but stated, “You know my version of Harley is mine, and it’s very authentic to this movie and these characters,” adding, “I’ve never done anything like I’ve done in this movie before, so it’s all going to be completely brand new and really fun.

The Plot

Joker 2 won’t be out until the fall. So, with the film still so far out, and with the production team wanting to keep the movie under wraps, audiences have been given surprisingly little about what they can expect from the sequel in terms of the plot. The small pieces of information that fans know about are that Harley Quinn will be playing a significant role in the film and that at least part of it will take place in Arkham Asylum.

Another important piece of information about the movie (that will more than likely affect the plot in some way) is that the movie will have musical elements. The choice was reportedly made due to the dancing-related themes incorporated in the first movie (Joker’s dance to Gary Glitter’s “Rock n’ Roll” was acclaimed), combined with the casting choice of Lady Gaga as the infamous Harley Quinn. Gaga’s musical background undoubtedly played a part in choosing to have the film be more musically driven and her experience with acting/creating music made the choice a no-brainer.

The last piece of information regarding the plot is that fans need to remember that this particular movie, as well as its predecessor, are not part of James Gunn’s upcoming DCU and will therefore be under the category of DC Elseworlds – stand-alone projects set in the DC Universe. This isn’t new information as the original Joker was never part of the larger universe that DC attempted and failed to make, but nevertheless, it should still be noted.

Joker: Folie a Deux – The Cast

Joaquin Phoenix gained an Oscar and universal acclaim for his rendition of the Joker so it’s no surprise to anyone that he’ll be returning to play Arthur Fleck/The Joker for the sequel. A notable piece of information to take into account is that thanks to Phoenix’s Oscar-winning performance, his payday for the sequel will be $20 million, opposed to the $4 million that he received for the original movie.

Joker 2 CinemaCon

However, as discussed earlier, the biggest addition to the sequel in terms of star-power will be Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. Despite Margot Robbie playing the character for the past decade in three separate DC projects, Robbie has praised the casting choice of Gaga as Quinn and believes that she’ll do an amazing job with the character, saying:

“I think she’s going to do an amazing job. I’m so excited. All I could have ever hoped for Harley is that she would become one of those characters that, kind of like Batman, or Hamlet, gets handed from actor to actor—everyone gets a go at playing them. So, I feel like it’s just a credit to her as a character that people want to see her in multiple interactions. I’m excited.”

After Lady Gaga, other notable actors/actresses who have been added to the cast are Jacob Lofland, Catherine Keener, and Brendan Gleeson. Lofland is reportedly playing an inmate from Arkham Asylum, and there hasn’t yet been any word on who Keener and Gleeson will be playing. Another new name for the movie is Harry Lawtey (star if HBO’s Industry) who has also been cast in an undisclosed role, however, it’s been reported that his role will be a “big” one for the series.

Another name that audiences will be familiar with is Zazie Beetz who played Sophie in the first Joker film. While it was revealed that her and Arthur’s relationship was completely concocted inside Arthur’s head, her overall fate was never revealed in the film. Also, while nothing has officially been confirmed, Zazie has publicly stated that she believes Sophie is still alive in the series. With all of that being said, fans shouldn’t expect to see Zazie in the upcoming sequel, but it’s a very real possibility.

More images reveal Arkham Asylum

Right around the holidays, Todd Phillips gave fans another sneak peek at Joker: Folie a Deux by posting a pic of Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck in his cell in Arkham Asylum, while the other showed Lady Gaga as Dr. Harleen Quinzel. Heck them out:

The Release Date:

Warner Bros has Joker: Folie a Deux slated for an October 4, 2024 release date. Chances are, it will follow the original film and have a fall festival premiere (likely in Venice, maybe TIFF too). Of course, that release date puts it right in the awards corridor, with this buzz being that this is WB’s big Oscar movie for the year. Since Phoenix won Best Actor for the first Joker, expect him to get a major Oscar campaign, while Gaga, no doubt, will be a huge contender for Best Actress.

Reaction:

A test screening of the film was recently held, and GoldDerby shared the following reaction: “Parts are chaotic for a reason. Parts are surrealistic also for a reason (and at least in part shot in B&W), parts are bloody (the chaotic part). Can’t spoil how exactly. It’s also very political as you would expect from Joker franchise. The person I spoke with was mighty impressed but caution it’s just on opinion. Gaga is indeed equal to Phoenix or even more central. No way to fraud her in supporting. From what I understood, he doesn’t call her Harley but a nickname derived from it. I guess that has created a confusion whether she plays Harley or not (she does). They both perform songs as a duet and some are just her singing. Songs are mix of old songs and new ones. Old one are sang in one part of movie, new/original ones in another. It isn’t all a singing movie. Famous characters appear in it. Some changes to lore since these movies are standalones from certain other DC franchise. Surrealism would be some scenes (can’t specify which) but not the whole movie (it isn’t all a dream/hallucination type of thing). Gaga’s performance is said to be transformative and sensational.:

Is It a Musical?

Early in its development, it was revealed that Joker: Folie a Deux would be a musical. While some took that to mean that Lady Gaga would be contributing original songs, Variety has specified that the movie will be a jukebox musical.

What’s a jukebox musical?

The term “jukebox musical” refers to a kind of musical where all the songs are pre-existing. Many popular musicals like Mamma Mia, Rock of Ages, and Moulin Rouge would be considered jukebox musicals. In the Variety report, it’s revealed that the film will contain roughly fifteen songs, all of them covers. One of them will be the classic “That’s Entertainment” from the old Fred Astaire musical The Band Wagon. Each song is said to have been thoroughly reimagined by the movie’s returning composer, Hildur Guðnadóttir.

What does the title mean?

Folie a Deux (the film’s official title) actually translates to “madness of two” and refers to ‘shared psychosis’ in which “delusion or mental illness is shared by two people in close association”. It can be safely assumed that the title is referring to the relationship that will undoubtedly spread between Joker and Harley Quinn.

How Was It Filmed?

Joker: Folie a Deux was partly shot with IMAX cameras by DP Lawrence Sher.

What’s the Budget?

According to recent reports, the Joker: Folie a Deux budget has blown past $200 million, more than three times what the original film cost ($60 million). Given that the first film made over a billion dollars worldwide, that budget isn’t considered an unsafe bet, with the two stars, Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga, getting justifiably juicy paychecks ($20 million and $12 million respectively).

The trailer… and is Harley real?

The full trailer for the film was released online during the CinemaCon event in early April, and it gives us a glimpse of what Joker: Folie a Deux will have in store for us. The trailer shows us Arthur and Harley crossing paths and falling for each other in Arkham Asylum, then escaping into a world of violent acts and musical performances. It looks like a good portion of the movie is going to be taking place within Arthur’s mind… which has left some viewers to wonder if Harley is actually going to be a real person in this movie, or if she’s just a figment of Arthur’s imagination. Check out the trailer in the embed above and see what you think. Is Harley real or not?

Everything Else:

Another piece of information that fans might find interesting is that despite being set in New York City, filming still took place in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, it’s been revealed in set photos that the sequel will return to the infamous “Joker steps” from the first movie. And, despite the movie being a jukebox musical, it’s been said that Gaga may be contributing an original song to the film, which would be a no-brainer as it could follow in the footsteps of A Star Is Born‘s “Shallow” and win her a Best Song Oscar.

So, even though fans won’t get a chance to see how The Joker and Harley Quinn get wrapped up in another crazy villainous adventure for another few months, fans can rest well knowing that the wait will be more than worth it.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/joker-2-folie-a-deux-lady-gaga/

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