Lady Gaga Eyeing “Joker 2” Harley Quinn Role in Musical Sequel
The Joker 2 news just keeps getting wilder. Last week we learned that writer/director Todd Phillips had not only written the script for the Joker sequel with his co-writer from the first film, Scott Silver, but he shared an image of star Joaquin Phoenix reading it and that its working title was Joker: Folie á Deux. That title, whose literal translation means “shared madness,” sparked speculation that the Joker’s main squeeze, Harley Quinn—made cinematically iconic by Margot Robbie in a trio of films—would be a major part of the film. Yet Joker takes place in an entirely different universe within the DCEU from the films Robbie’s played Quinn, most recently in Birds of Prey and The Suicide Squad. Now, The Hollywood Reporter scoops that Lady Gaga is in early talks to play Quinn, and, that Joker: Folie á Deux would be a musical.
Phillips and his Joker co-writer Scott Silver have been hard at work on the sequel for a while. Technically, Folie á Deux is a medical term for two or more people suffering from a similar mental disorder. There are no two characters in the DC canon who this describes better than the Joker and Harley Quinn. THR reports that Warner Bros. has finally gotten a look at Phillips and Silver’s script (hence Phillips sharing the image of Phoenix reading it on social media last week), yet the deal for Phoenix to join the sequel isn’t done yet.
This is where Gaga comes in. If she indeed signs on and is playing Quinn, the stage is set for an epic collaboration and would all but guarantee intense interest in the sequel, even for people who stayed away from the original. The origin story of the relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn is complicated, to say the least. Quinn was originally his psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, but soon enough she fell in love with him, and the two of them became a demented, highly unstable, and decidedly unhealthy power couple in the Gotham underworld.
As if the idea of a Gaga/Phoenix pairing as one of the most iconic romantic entanglements in the comics world weren’t enough, the fact that THR‘s sources say the sequel will be a musical makes Gaga’s casting even more intriguing. Considering the first Joker was expected to be a modest hit and became a mega-success might make the idea of a musical Joker sequel less wacky for the studio. The original was a moody, highly un-superheroic origin story about a sad clown and would-be stand-up comedian named Arthur Fleck that turned into a box office juggernaut and earned 11 Oscar nominations and two wins, for Phoenix as Best Actor and Hildur Guonadottir for Best Original Score. If it sounds like madness to try and make a musical based on the sordid romance between the Joker and Harley Quinn, it’s the kind of madness many, many viewers will likely share.
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Featured image, right to left: Caption: JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative’s “JOKER,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise; LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 03: Lady Gaga performs onstage during the 64th annual GRAMMY awards on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy).