Director Todd Phillips has shared a first look at Lady Gaga in character opposite Joaquin Phoenix in Joker: Folie à Deux, the sequel to the 2019 hit film. Joker ended its theatrical run as the fourth highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, earned 11 Oscar nominations, including best picture, and won best actor (for Phoenix) and best score (for Hildur Guonadottir).
Phillips fittingly captioned the post: “Happy Valentines Day.” Gaga’s Harley Quinn has blood coming out of her nose as she wildly stares into Phoenix’s eyes. His makeup is smudged all over, but Gaga’s hands embrace a smiling Arthur Fleck’s (Phoeniz) face with a passionate intensity nonetheless. See the image below:
In August, Gaga posted a musically illustrated teaser with the song “Cheek to Cheek” on Instagram, which the actress and singer has famously covered in her music career alongside Tony Bennett. At the end of the teaser, we hear Joaquin’s iconic Joker laugh.
As we previously reported, the Folie à Deux subtitle references a medical term for an identical or similar mental disorder that affects two or more individuals, usually members of the same family.
According to a Hollywood Reporter scoop last year, Gaga is playing a version of Harley Quinn, the Arkham Asylum psychiatrist who falls in love with the Joker and ultimately becomes his partner in crime. It is unclear whether Phillips will be using other DC characters or creating their own, as they did in many instances with their first movie.
It seems as though Phillips is playing up the one-sided romance of the pair — something that has been at the root of the Harley Quinn character since she was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm for Batman: The Animated Series 30 years ago, especially in her classic origin episode Mad Love. However, more recent interpretations — such as Margot Robbie’s in the Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey films and the character’s HBO Max animated series — have moved on from that.
Joker: Folie à Deux is currently in production and slated to be released in theaters on October 4, 2024.