First “Joker: Folie à Deux” Teaser Unleashes Joaquin Phoenix’s Clown Prince of Chaos

Is he laughing or crying? And is there a difference for Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck, the tormented stand-up comedian who became a tormentor in Todd Phillips’ original Joker? Warner Bros. has just released the first teaser for Phillips’ follow-up, Joker: Folie à Deux, with the full trailer coming tonight. The teaser is brief yet potent, an unsettling glimpse at Phoenix’s Fleck crying/laughing in the rain. Is Fleck at Arkham Asylum following the killing spree he went on in the first film? This sure looks like Gotham’s infamous institution:

Joker: Folie à Deux boasts a big-time addition to the cast, Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. Gaga is nowhere to be seen in the above teaser, but you can bet she’ll be a big part of the trailer. In the past, Phillips shared a few new photos of the most twisted romantic partners in the game, which included a shot from what appears to be Arkham Asylum and a third shot of the two all dressed up and dancing on a rooftop, an homage to a famous image created by artist Alex Ross, “Tango With Evil.” Then, we got a glimpse of the poster, which featured the demented duo mid-dance. The poster reinforced the fact that Joker: Folie à Deux will be, in many ways, a twisted romance. 

The last time we left Phoenix’s sad sack Arthur Fleck at the end of Joker, his murder spree made him a folk hero to the downtrodden, poverty-stricken denizens of a Gotham that otherwise seemed to offer nothing but corruption, both from politicians and from cops. The orgy of violence that followed the Joker’s killing, on live TV, of talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) included the murders of two of its most prominent citizens, Thomas (Brett Cullen) and Martha Wayne (Carrie Louise Putrello). The Waynes left behind a young son named Bruce; perhaps you’ve heard his name before? The film ends with Arthur locked up in a mental asylum, where, we presume, he’ll meet Gaga’s Harley Quinn. 

When the trailer drops, we finally know at least a little bit about how Phillips and his co-writer Scott Silver advance the story from there. We do know that Folie à Deux will make the most of Gaga, with reports that the sequel is a jukebox musical. You’ve also probably heard by now that Folie à Deux refers to a medical term for two or more people suffering from the same or similar mental disorder: your Joker and your Harley Quinn.

The sequel includes the return of Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond and the arrival of powerhouse performers like Brendan Gleeson and Catherine Keener. 

Joker: Folie à Deux hits theaters on October 4, 2024.

Featured image: Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga in “JOKER: FOLIE À DEUX.” Courtesy Warner Bros.


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