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Joker: Folie à Deux Release Date, Cast, Director, Music And More Details

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What do you get when you cross one of the most iconic supervillains of all time with one of the best actors of his generation? We'll tell you what you get — one of the most successful comic book movies ever made.

Released in 2019, "Joker" danced its way to $1 billion, beating titles like "Deadpool" and "IT" to become the highest-grossing R-rated film worldwide. It also found great success at the Academy Awards, earning 11 Oscar nominations and winning best actor for Joaquin Phoenix. Even though director Todd Phillips said in September 2019 that the movie wasn't set up to have a sequel, with those accolades and box office numbers, a sequel was always in the cards for the Clown Prince of Crime.

Now, part two is almost here. Titled "Joker: Folie à Deux," the film will pick up Arthur Fleck's story after the mass riot that ended the first film. But is Phoenix coming back to play his Oscar-nominated role? Who will be joining him in this epic tragedy? And will the film be connected to the DCU in any way? Read on for everything we know so far about the upcoming "Joker" sequel.

When will Joker: Folie à Deux be released?

We first started hearing reports of a "Joker" sequel in November 2019, with conflicting stories about whether or not a deal was in place to get the movie going. While director Todd Phillips said those reports were jumping the gun and that there wasn't any official movement on the project, we did get positive confirmation a few years later in June 2022. That's when Phillips took to Instagram and shared a photo of the "Joker 2" script, exciting DC fans around the globe. 

As for shooting, the movie began filming in December 2022 and wrapped in April 2023 — so when can we expect to see the killer comedian take to the stage? Well, we still have a little while to wait. 2023 will see the release of DC titles "The Flash," "Blue Beetle," and "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," whereas "Joker" fans will be rewarded the next year. "Folie à Deux" hits theater screens on October 4, 2024.

What is the plot of Joker: Folie à Deux?

At this moment, we don't know for sure what "Joker: Folie à Deux" will actually be about, but we have a few clues as to what we can expect. We know that Harley Quinn — Joker's psychiatrist turned girlfriend/victim/partner-in-crime — will play a big part in the plot. In fact, we think the title of the film is referencing her twisted relationship with the Joker.

How so? Well, according to the National Institute of Health, "folie à deux" is a French phrase that means "an identical or similar mental disorder affecting two or more individuals." The organization goes on to add that folie à deux is an "induced delusional disorder" that hinges on "the nature of relationship between the inducer and the induced."

Kind of sounds like Joker and Harley, right? Their shared psychosis will no doubt be a huge factor in the film. Plus, it's also been reported that the film will take place in Arkham Asylum, where Arthur Fleck found himself after the events of the first film. Chances are good we'll see Harley start off as Arthur's doctor before falling under his sway. And how will he accomplish that? Perhaps it will have something to do with the power of music.

Yep, "Joker 2" is going to be a musical. According to Variety, the film will feature "complicated musical segments." However, the trade has also reported that we should expect something more in the vein of Bradley Cooper's "A Star Is Born" than Jon M. Chu's "In the Heights." We're not exactly sure how to square the diegetic music of "A Star Is Born" with complicated musical segments, although star Zazie Beetz did elaborate on this a bit more, telling Variety, "I think people will be surprised. I don't think it's going to be what they expect, around it being musical. We all sort of express musically and dancing in our lives day-to-day. I think it's going to work really well."

Who is starring in Joker: Folie à Deux?

If you play a live-action Joker, chances are good you're going to win an Oscar. Sure, Jack Nicholson missed out, but Heath Ledger nabbed best supporting actor for "The Dark Knight," and Joaquin Phoenix beat out the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Adam Driver to win best actor. Stepping out of Ledger's massive shadow was no easy feat, but Phoenix pulled it off, portraying the Joker as less of an enigmatic puppet master and more as a Travis Bickle-type — lonely, disturbed, and one bad day away from breaking.

Needless to say, you can't make a "Joker" sequel without Phoenix in the starring role, and never fear, the man will be coming back, hot off the heels of Ari Aster's "Beau Is Afraid." Of course, with a titan like Phoenix in the role of Arthur Fleck, you'll need someone equally as talented and bombastic to play Harley Quinn. Enter Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga. The powerful singer turned actor has made quite a name for herself on the big screen, playing in projects like "A Star Is Born" and "House of Gucci." With the film being a musical, it makes total sense that Gaga is the female lead, and we also can't wait to hear Phoenix belt out a few tunes. He did play Johnny Cash after all.

So who's joining Phoenix and Gaga in this tale of murder and amour? Well, Zazie Beetz of "Atlanta" fame will be returning as Sophie Dumond, the single mom from the first film who found herself the object of Arthur Fleck's delusions. As for newcomers, expect to see the great Brendan Gleeson of "The Banshees of Inisherin" and Catherine Keener of "Get Out," along with Harry Lawtey of "Industry" and Jacob Lofland of the "Maze Runner" movies.

Who is writing and directing Joker: Folie à Deux?

Before helming "Joker," director Todd Phillips was best known for his comedies, a la "The Hangover" trilogy and "Due Date." However, in the wake of his Jonah Hill/Miles Teller action-comedy "War Dogs," he realized it might be time to pivot to a new genre.

"I knew that 'War Dogs' wasn't going to set the world on fire," he told the Los Angeles Times, "and I was thinking, 'What do people really want to see? The movies that I grew up loving, these character studies from the '70s, you couldn't get those movies made in this climate. I'm staring up at this [superhero] billboard, and I said to myself, 'What if you did a movie in that vein but made it about one of those characters?'"

The result was box office gold, and it earned Phillips an Oscar nod for best director. In other words, Phillips is just as key to Arthur Fleck's story as Joaquin Phoenix, so you better believe he's coming back for "Folie à Deux." On the screenwriting side of things, Phillips will be joined by Scott Silver, who helped the filmmaker pen the original movie. (In fact, they both earned an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay.) In addition to "Joker," Silver has also written scripts for movies like "8 Mile," "The Fighter," and "The Finest Hours."

Who is composing the music for Joker: Folie à Deux?

When it comes to the most important players in the first "Joker" film, you've got lead star Joaquin Phoenix and director Todd Phillips — but just as important, there's also Hildur Guðnadóttir. With her cello and her halldorophone (an instrument of her own invention), the Icelandic musician heavily contributed to films like "Prisoners," "The Revenant," and "Arrival," and she's composed some truly haunting scores for movies like "Sicario: Day of the Soldado," "Tár," and "Women Talking."

But it was "Joker" that truly put her on the map, with the film's menacing soundtrack accompanying Arthur Fleck into madness. In fact, she won best original score at the Academy Awards thanks to her work on the acclaimed supervillain film. Basically, a "Joker" movie without Guðnadóttir just wouldn't work, so rest assured, she's coming back for the sequel.

Speaking to Variety, Guðnadóttir discussed the movie's musical nature, saying, "It's an interesting decision. And I think it's really exciting to see how it unfolds. And I think it's somehow logical at the same time. It's both logical and also very surprising. For me as well as the audience. So far it's just been a really beautiful conversation, and I'm really excited to see how it unfolds."

Where does Joker: Folie à Deux fit into the DCU?

These are exciting times over at DC, with James Gunn and Peter Safran at the helm. The two are hoping to restart the cinematic DC Universe, with titles such as "Superman Legacy," "Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow," and "Swamp Thing." Along with TV series such as "Green Lantern" and "Creature Commandos," the DCU will try to do a better job of melding everything into one long-form story, a la what Kevin Feige has been doing over at Marvel.

So will "Joker: Folie à Deux" fit into the DCU somehow? Will Arthur Fleck be showing up alongside characters from upcoming Gunn/Safran flicks like "The Brave and the Bold" and "The Authority?" Well, if you're wanting the Clown Prince of Crime to stay far away from the larger DCU, don't worry. You're going to get your wish. Gunn and Safran have made it clear that the "Joker" movies will exist in their own little corner of the sandbox — a corner known as DC Elseworlds, where films can live outside the DCU.

Similarly, Matt Reeves' "The Batman Part II" will also be a DC Elseworlds film, but don't expect Robert Pattinson to show up alongside Joaquin Phoenix. Firstly, the timelines don't really work out. Secondly, "Joker" director Tod Phillips has made it clear that these two will never cross paths. When the filmmaker was asked if these characters would ever face one another, Phillips quickly said, "No, definitely not." After all, Pattinson has his own Joker to deal with in the form of Barry Keoghan, so it seems Phoenix's supervillain and Pattinson's superhero are destined to stay in their own standalone universes.

What movies will influence Joker: Folie à Deux?

If you're familiar with Martin Scorsese's filmography, then you know "Joker" paid serious homage to "Taxi Driver" and "The King of Comedy." So will Todd Phillips be drawing inspiration from any Scorsese movies for "Joker: Folie à Deux?" Well, it's interesting that "Joker 2" is a musical because Scorsese himself directed a musical in 1977 titled "New York, New York," which follows the volatile romantic relationship between two performers. While we don't know for sure if the two movies will share any DNA, we do know for a fact that "Folie à Deux" will be borrowing some visual imagery from another director's oeuvre.

Speaking with YouTuber Matti Haapoja, "Folie à Deux" cinematographer Lawrence Sher — who also filmed the original movie — explained he was very inspired by Francis Ford Coppola's "One From the Heart." The incredibly ambitious movie that plunged Coppola into debt, "One From the Heart" features a super stylized look, and Sher has said that he, production designer Mark Friedberg, and Todd Phillips all looked at the film while building the groundwork for the "Joker" sequel. As he put it, "Even if it's not a reference that you're going to take on set and say, 'I want it to look like that,' it's like brain food. It's dream food."

Where to watch Joker

We still have a while to go before Joker and Harley Quinn light up the big screen with their twisted relationship (one might even say it's a "bad romance"). In the meantime, if you want to see the rise of Arthur Fleck and watch his incredibly uncomfortable dance moves, his incredibly awkward stand-up, and his rise as Gotham's most dangerous criminal, we've got you covered.

For those who want to stream "Joker," you can find the 2019 film on Max (aka HBO Max). If you'd rather rent it, the psychological drama is available on services like Google Play, Prime Video, Vudu, and YouTube.