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Todd Phillips Gives Fans A First Look Image Of Joker: Folie à Deux

Everyone's favorite comedian is back.

Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix captured lightning in a bottle when they teamed up for "Joker" in 2019. With Phoenix in the lead role, the duo reinvented the iconic Batman villain, separating him from the larger, bombastic DC Extended Universe. Focusing on the character's psyche and giving him an origin story, they tapped into themes of loneliness, mental health, and inequality, all set in a gritty '80s Gotham.

The solo film struck a chord with audiences who showed up in droves, pushing the moderately-priced DC outing to over a billion dollars worldwide, making it the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time (via The Numbers). While many noted similarities to films like "Taxi Driver" and "The King of Comedy," the industry loved Phillips' take on the comic book genre, with the Academy awarding it two Oscars, including Best Actor for Phoenix.

While "Joker" was originally pitched as a standalone film (via IGN), rumblings of a sequel began to manifest shortly after the film became a cultural juggernaut. A sequel, subtitled "Folie à Deux" was confirmed earlier this year, with Phillips returning as director and co-writer. Perhaps the biggest surprise regarding the sequel (beyond its existence) is the inclusion of Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn opposite Phoenix's Joker.

Beyond the revelation that the sequel is a musical, details are ultimately slim on "Joker: Folie à Deux." How will the Joker return? Has he escaped Arkham Asylum? For now, those details remain unknown. To tease fans, Phillips has decided to share a first look at the sequel and it sure is something special.

Joker's getting a shave

Taking to Instagram on Saturday evening, "Joker: Folie à Deux" director Todd Phillips shared the first look at the sequel. The image shows Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck/Joker leaning back, receiving a shave from someone. The caption on the image reads, "Day 1. Our boy. #joker," confirming that filming has started on the sequel.

Fleck largely looks like how we last saw him in "Joker," sans green hair dye. The shaving cream on Phoenix's face does make it look like Fleck is in his Joker makeup — note the cream on his nose. It's unknown as to who is shaving Fleck as a hand rests on the Arkham patient's forehead. Is Fleck being forcefully restrained? Could the hand be that of a healthcare professional at Arkham? Or has Fleck escaped, receiving some grooming from an ardent follower? Whatever the identity of the shaver is, this is a welcome first look at the highly-anticipated sequel. Phoenix and Lady Gaga aren't the only major stars in the DC sequel. Phillips' latest will feature "Harry Potter" star Brendan Gleeson, "Get Out" villain Catherine Keener, and "Maze Runner" star Jacob Lofland. Returning for the sequel is Zaazie Beetz (via Deadline), who appeared in the first flick as a woman who Fleck imagines he's in a relationship with.

"Joker: Folie à Deux" hits cinemas on October 4, 2024 — exactly five years after the first film.