Whether you loved it or hated it, it cannot be denied that 2019’s “The Joker” was comic-book film unlike any other. Though set in familiar territory, the film told a distinctly unique story from the perspective of one very, very miserable Gothamite. Arthur Fleck was a dark mirror held up against everything wrong about modern society. Much like “The Batman”, the film explored themes of poverty, corruption and vengeance. Unlke the latter though, Fleck didn’t become a symbol of hope to the citizens of Gotham. Rather this failed comedian transformed into a symbol of populist rage against society, the Joker! For us, it was a magnificent masterpiece that challenged our fragile sensibilities with its controversial message and an unparalleled performance by Joaquin Phoenix. It was beautiful and now it’s over…or so we thought.
That’s right, director Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix are giving us “Joker 2: Folie à Deux”. Recently there seem to be some updates about the film that has raised some interesting questions. Where will the sequel take Arthur? Who else will be joining the cast? Most importantly, will a certain caped crusader be making an appearance? Stick around as we break down everything you need to know about the upcoming film.
So far, Phillips and company have been keeping awfully tight-lipped about the film’s plot details. That being said, we believe that the clue in the film’s title has already provided an essential clue to what the film will be about. You see the French words Folie à Deux, which translates as “folly of two”, is actually a mental disorder that interestingly involves two people sharing the same delusion. It’s a rather controversial disorder seeing that the medical community has yet to properly acknowledge it. There are two variations of the disorder. The first is Folie imposée in which someone with delusions and a break in reality influences someone else into sharing their same delusion. If left alone, the other person would not have been affected. Then, there’s Folie simultanée, in which two people share a similar delusion and they both feed off each other.
Joker: Folie à Deux
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 4, 2022
In a teaser trailer for the film, it has been revealed that Lady Gaga will indeed be joining the cast of the film. It has also been confirmed that the “A Star is Born” actress will be playing the role of Harley Quinn. Now that we know that Gaga’s Harley Quinn will be appearing in the film, the film’s title makes a whole lot more sense. The film’s premise will revolve around Arthur Fleck, now known as the Joker, and Harley Quinn as the duo as they both share a “folly of two”.
As to the nature of their relationship, we think it’ll be more Folie imposée than Folie simultanée with the Joker leading Harley Quinn down the rabbit hole of madness. Fleck at the of “Joker”, has shown to be a whole different beast now. He’s no longer the shy, depressed loner we knew at the beginning of the film. He’s now a dangerous man with a legion of followers. No doubt, he’s grown in his confidence and charisma.
In the ending of the film, we see Joker walking down a corridor in a mental institute with bloody footprints left in his wake, implying that he’s killed or injured a staff member. It ends with him being chased by a worker. Based on the comics and her time in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), Harley Quinn is known to be a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. That is before she’s charmed by the Joker and becomes his partner in crime.
Gaga’s Harley Quinn could be working at the mental institute housing Fleck before eventually falling in love with the man. Or perhaps, she could also be another patient at the institute as well who is inspired by Joker or shares in his delusion. As to what that delusion could be, there’s been some very interesting news that the film will be, wait for it, a musical! Can you imagine seeing a duet between Phoenix’s Joker and Gaga’s Harley Quinn as the city burns around them? Sign us up because that sounds like an absolute must-see!
Well, we know Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga will be the two main leads of “Joker 2” but who else will be joining the madness with them? Recently, there’s been reports that Zazie Beetz, who played single-mother Sophie Dumond is in talks to reprise her role in the sequel. For the majority of the film, Beetz played an imaginary version Dumond, who fell in love with the Joker. Later in the film it’s revealed that beyond one polite exchange at the elevator, the two of them have not interacted since. If Beetz does return to the film, she could be a target of the Joker’s wrath.
One actor we’re particularly interested in seeing return to Gotham is child actor Dante Pereira-Olson, who played Bruce Wayne in the 2019 film. Last we saw Pereira-Olson’s character, he witnessed the death of his parents, Bruce and Martha Wayne, at the hands of one of the rioters triggered by Joker. It would make sense that the Prince of Gotham appear in the sequel to speak on the death of his parents and the city’s descent into chaos. If this version of Bruce Wayne will be making a comeback, he’s sure to be accompanied by his trusty butler and mentor, Alfred Pennyworth played by Douglas Hodge.
In an exclusive with GQ, Actor Willem Dafoe has expressed his desire to play a role in Todd Phillips’ “Joker” films. He suggested the idea that there could be actually two Jokers in the film, with one of them being an imposter and him playing the other Joker. An intriguing idea for sure but could Phillips make Dafoe’s dream a reality? We’ll keep you updated when more news comes out.
Will the Batman Appear in Joker 2?
Alas we get to the billion-dollar question: Will we see some version of the Batman in “Joker 2”? We’ll let the director answer that one. In an interview with Variety in 2020, Phillips said “It’s a beautiful Gotham. What I would like to see someone tackle is what Batman looks like from that Gotham”. That being said, he made it very clear that he wasn’t interested in being the one to make that happen. He was merely pondering on how different a Batman who grew up in the Gotham of the “Joker” would be. He also mentioned that he and Joaquin Phoenix were initially adamant on “Joker” being a one-off film and that he would never cross over into Matt Reeves “The Batman” universe.
He’s shown that he’s willing to change his position on sequels given that the right direction and vision are found. Could he be interested in a crossover then? Highly unlikely seeing there already is a Joker in “The Batman” universe played by Barry Keoghan. So having Arthur Fleck be the Joker to Robert Pattinson’s Batman would be just plain confusing. In conclusion, the answer is no, we don’t think Matt Reeves’ Batman will be appearing in the film. Could we see an original Batman in the “Joker” universe? It’s possible but the chances are rather slim seeing that Phillips wants the film to be squarely focused on the perspectives of Joker and Harley Quinn.
It’s more likely we’ll see a young Bruce Wayne playing a role in influencing the people of Gotham to oppose Joker and his sordid lot. Perhaps in the film’s ending, we could see him don a Bat-suit of his making. Phillips can change his mind if the story’s right.
So what do you think of Todd Phillips’ upcoming film “Joker 2: Folie à Deux”? Be sure to let us know in a comment on our socials!