New “Joker: Folie à Deux” Image Finds Joaquin Phoenix Soaked But Serene
Joker: Folie à Deux co-writer and director Todd Phillips has taken to Instagram to share a new photo from the upcoming sequel and to take a moment to reflect on the fact that it was four years ago when Joaquin Phoenix and Phillips unleashed their twisted character study of the iconic supervillain of them on all the screen. The original Joker arrived on the big screen on October 4, 2019, immediately announcing itself as something entirely different in the world of movies derived from the comic book universe. It was the first live-action theatrical film within the Batman umbrella to receive an R-rating, for starters, and had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it took home the top prize, the Golden Lion. From there, it went on to conquer not only the box office but become a centerpiece of conversation within the film world and the broader culture. Joker was a film you couldn’t ignore, and Phoenix’s performance was unlike anything we’d seen in a superhero movie, or in this case, a supervillain movie. He went on to win an Oscar for Best Actor.
The new image from the sequel finds Phoenix’s deeply unstable Arthur Fleck enjoying a rain shower. He’s surrounded by a colorful assortment of umbrellas (and the faceless, broad-shouldered men carrying them) but goes without, his face turned to the heavens and bearing a look of inner peace. The last time we left Arthur at the end of Joker, he’d just (extremely belated spoiler alert) gone on a killing spree in Gotham and, in the process, became a folk hero to the downtrodden, poverty-stricken, and deeply pissed-off denizens of the crime-ridden metropolis. Having taken on the alter ego of the Joker, Arthur appeared on Murray Franklin’s (Robert De Niro) TV show and shot the man dead on live TV. Gotham exploded in an orgy of violence, which included the murders of two of its most prominent citizens, Thomas (Brett Cullen) and Martha Wayne (Carrie Louise Putrello). You might have heard they have had a son. The film ends with Arthur locked up in a mental asylum, and there’s an insinuation there that he kills the psychiatrist working with him—it’s not shown, but he has bloody footprints as he leaves a session with her, and we see him being chased shortly thereafter.
How Phillips and his co-writer Scott Silver advance the story from here is anybody’s guess. We know some key things about Folie à Deux; the main one, of course, is the arrival of Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. We also know that the title Folie à Deux refers to a medical term for two or more people suffering from the same or similar mental disorder; presumably, this would be Arthur and Harley. We also know the film has been teased as a musical and includes the return of Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond and the arrival of powerhouse performers like Brendan Gleeson and Catherine Keener. After that, however, is pure speculation. Phillips has been keeping us updated with the occasional photo, but the script will be kept in Arkham Asylum for the foreseeable future—Joker: Folie à Deux isn’t due in theaters until October 4, 2024.
Check out the new image here:
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Featured image: 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