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Leaked Joker 2 Footage Leads To Confusion Among Fans

Although the DC Extended Universe continues to slowly collapse in on itself (and has been since it first began back in 2013), in recent years DC Comics fans have been treated to some of the most unique and memorable comic book movies of the past decade — those being Matt Reeves's "The Batman" and Todd Philips' "Joker."

"Joker" in particular stands out as one of the most unique comic book films of all time: A gritty character study following the life of struggling comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) as he slowly descends into madness in the streets of 1980s Gotham City. Though "Joker" takes on the tone of a psychological thriller like "Taxi Driver," there have been conflicting reports about what to expect from the film's highly-anticipated sequel, "Joker: Folie à Deux." Rumored to be a musical that focuses on Joker's relationship with Harley Quinn (Lady Gaga), we know very little about the plot of this upcoming film outside of the title, which refers to a mental disorder or delusion shared by two people (a "folie à deux").

Now, a video of leaked footage from the filming of the upcoming film has sparked even further confusion and speculation among fans of "Joker," as it appears to show Phoenix running away from past versions of himself.

Arthur Fleck is chased by his two past selves in bizarre behind the scenes footage

Posted to Twitter by @evanponter, the footage (apparently recorded from the user's phone high above street level) showcases filming for "Joker: Folie à Deux" in Downtown Los Angeles. The video shows Joaquin Phoenix's Joker rolling out of a car and being chased by two other "Jokers" (both in costumes he wore during the first film), dodging and weaving through traffic as he runs away.

Fans on Twitter were both excited and confused by the footage, wondering whether these three Jokers could be part of some dream sequence, or actually there in the flesh. "Ohhhhhh man I can't wait. This just means that we're gonna see some trippy mind-bending scenes because he's losing his sense of reality," wrote @_Skoob_. "This is probably some kind of dream sequence metaphorical hallucination whatever, but god I hope it's a real thing that happens literally in the movie," echoed @MetaForth_.

As pointed out by @SPIDEY1500, this sequence could also be a reference to the comic book series "Three Jokers," which focuses on three versions of the Joker from different points in Batman's crime-fighting career, each representing a different part of the Joker's fractured psyche. On top of the inherently confusing nature of this scene, it also seems to contradict earlier reports about "Folie à Deux's" musical inspiration, making it unclear what the film's tone will be like. 

As exciting as this early footage may be, it's going to take a lot of guesswork to figure out exactly what's going on in this scene and what this sequel will really be about.

Do we really need a second Joker movie?

The existence of the leaked footage does inspire a second question: why are we doing this? Why is there a second "Joker" film? The first one seemed to wrap itself up in a  nice little bow, with Arthur Fleck transforming into the supervillain we all know and love known as the Joker — and now the story is continuing to detail his descent into further madness aided by his paramour Harley Quinn.

Historically, origin stories have been pretty heavily criticized — like "Solo" or "Black Widow," which both tell the gripping stories of how these legendary heroes... got the jackets they wear in better projects. Sometimes, revealing every minute detail of how a protagonist came into being is just stale and boring, and takes a little bit from the joy and mystery imbued in the character in the first place. Maybe we don't need to see the entire arc of how the Joker came to be, and we can just let the character rest for a minute. You know, until Barry Keoghan takes over the role of Joker in Matt Reeves' "Batman" movies.