First “Joker: Folie à Deux” Trailer Unleashes a Twisted Duet

First, we got this brief but potent teaser that offered an unsettling glimpse at Joquin Phoenix’s sad sack comedian turned killer clown Arthur Fleck crying/laughing (or laughing/crying) in the rain—now Warner Bros. has unleashed the full trailer, which finally reveals Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn and the most demented romance in comics history, brought to the big screen in a jukebox musical from director Todd Phillips.

Joker: Folie à Deux unites Oscar winners Phoenix and Gaga in what has to be one of the year’s most must-see releases. The trailer, which Warner Bros. revealed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, is set to a version of the classic song “What the World Needs Now is Love” by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, made famous by singer Jackie DeShannon. The use of the song suggests that Joker: Folie à Deuxs musical mayhem might skew toward the 1960s—emphasizing the intriguing decision to make the sequel to the billion-dollar Joker a musical. What makes that decision seem a lot less surprising is Phillips deployed the musical dynamo Gaga to help lend whatever songs are chosen real chops and gravitas. The first trailer certainly delivers:

As you can see, the trailer gives us just a sketch of the connection between Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck and Gaga’s Harley Quinn as their romance flickers in what appears to be Arkham Asylum, one of Gotham’s most notorious institutions where many of the city’s most colorful criminals and villains have ended up through the years, in both the comics and the films. The pops of color in the otherwise dreary Gotham and the classic tune help emphasize the budding romance between Fleck and Quinn, the latter of whom seems most impressed and enamored with Fleck’s alter ego.

Phillips said that although music courses through his sequel, they never discussed Folie à Deux strictly in musical terms.

“We never talked about it like that. I like to say it’s a movie where music is an essential element. To me, that doesn’t veer too far from the first film. Arthur has music in him. He has a grace to him.”

Phillips also took time to give a shout-out to the theater owners at CinemaCon, which is, in large part, a celebration of the importance of the theater experience.

“I did want to say thank you to you guys … about a month before the first Joker came out, the narrative on the film really turned,” Phillips said, referencing the concerns that the first film might inspire violence. He thanked theater owners for helping the film have a smooth, wide release, which powered it to its historic run.

Phillips has kept curious fans connected to the production throughout, sharing a few new photos of the most twisted romantic partners in the game, including a 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 features the Joker and Quinn mid-dance. 

The last time we left Arthur Fleck at the end of Joker, his murder spree made him a folk hero to the people of Gotham. The city exploded in an orgy of violence after the Joker kills talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) on live TV, including perhaps the most dramatized double murder in the history of cinema, the killing of Gotham’s most elite couple, Thomas and Martha Wayne (played by Brett Cullen and Carrie Louise Putrello). This horrific crime is, of course, the dark origin story for the one and only Batman, but the timeline of Joker and Folie à Deux has Bruce Wayne still just a kid. 

Now it seems as if the Folie à Deux trailer has officially confirmed the sequel as 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 a Deux dances into theaters on October 4.

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


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