Joker: Folie à Deux is shaping up to be one the most buckwild things Warner Bros. has done in a while; no matter how you might feel about the first Joker movie [talking about myself], you have to admire that they are going in a completely different direction. Instead of being safe and trying to make lightning strike twice, we are getting a musical, and the cast already looks pretty awesome. Joaquin Pheonix is already set to return with Lady Gaga, Zazie Beetz, Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener, and Jacob Lofland are all confirmed to be on board. Today, according to Deadline, we got a new cast member with a relative newcomer Harry Lawtey who people with an HBO Max subscription might recognize from Industry. There still aren't any details about who Lawtey or anyone aside from Gaga and Beetz and Phoenix, the latter two of whom are reprising roles, will be playing, but the source to Deadline says that Lawtey's role "will be a big one." Production for the movie is set to start in December, but the plot details are being kept secret so far. What we do know is that it will be a musical and take place in Arkham Asylum, which is where Arthur ended up at the end of the first movie. The title is the only clue so far if you're looking for hints about the film.
What The Title Joker: Folie à Deux Could Tell Us About The Movie
That title, Joker: Folie à Deux, is telling since Folie à Deux, or "madness of two," is defined as "an identical or similar mental disorder affecting two or more individuals, usually the members of a close family." Usually, in close family relationships, but sometimes in other types of relationships, one family member suffers some sort of psychotic break or delusion, passing it along to another family member. One notable incidence of this is with Ursula Eriksson and Sabina Eriksson, identical twins who had an incident in May of 2008 which left a man dead. One could argue that the original version of Joker and Harley was doing some version of Folie à Deux, only now we are adding the actual terminology to the incident. The interesting thing here is that Folie à Deux is not something one does intentionally to another person, and it was always implied that the Joker intentionally manipulated Harley of his own violations. If they are pursuing Folie à Deux, that will make it much greyer whether he meant to manipulate her. Does this version of the Joker even mean to drag Harley down with him, or does it just happen because they become very close? Again, all speculation, but it could add a new dynamic to their relationship that we haven't seen before.
Warner Bros. and DC have wanted to make a Joker and Harley movie for years and making it a musical? It's one of those things that will either work so well it's going to be brilliant, or the entire thing will fall apart. We know that both Phoenix and Gaga can act, and seeing Gaga playing someone like Harley would be a lot of fun. For a taste of what she could look like in this role, check out House of Gucci, where she goes pretty over the top in a fun way. As someone who didn't like Joker, though? This is the sort of out-of-left-field sort of thing that actually makes me interested in Joker: Folie à Deux. The current release date is October 4, 2024.