Joker: Folie à Deux Trailer Sings a Song of Madness

Arkham Asylum can’t hold true love any more than it can hold the Joker. Tonight, Warner Bros. released a trailer for Joker: Folie à Deux, the sequel to 2019’s surprise blockbuster film based on the DC Comics villain. From what little we know, Joker: Folie à Deux picks up with Arthur Fleck locked up in Arkham, Gotham City’s infamous nuthouse, where he meets Harlene Quinzel, the woman who will become Harley Quinn. It’s also a musical. Directed by Todd Phillips from a script by Phillips and Scott Silver, Joker: Folie à Deux once again stars Joaquin Phoenix in his Oscar-winning role as Arthur Fleck, the mentally disturbed man who becomes the Joker, and Zazie Beetz as Sophie, Arthur’s neighbor and imagined paramour. This time, he’s joined by Lady Gaga as Harlene Quinzel/Harley Quinn, as well as Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener, Steve Coogan, and Ken Leung. Joker: Folie à Deux will arrive in theaters on October 9, 2024, and you can see the trailer below:

The Joker: Folie à Deux trailer is as wonderfully weird as I expected it to be. Joker took me completely by surprise, and I’m happy to extend Todd Phillips the benefit of the doubt for the sequel. Although to be fair, I don’t have many doubts. I know a lot of people balked at the idea of making Joker: Folie à Deux a musical, but I think it’s a neat idea, and the trailer indicates that this aspect is being used the way I suspected it would be. The musical interludes seem to be occurring in Arthur’s mind, a manifestation of his psychopathy taking the form of Hollywood romanticism because he’s now in love. And having Harley love him back is likely what makes these delusions different from the ones he had when he constructed a fictional relationship with Sophie in the first movie. That’s aside from Phillips probably wanting to try something new, which I love because that’s what got us Joker in the first place.

Joker: Folie à Deux trailer

However, that setup and the trailer indicate this is a very different version of the Joker/Harley relationship. This appears to be a reciprocal love, not the one-sided obsession Harley usually has for Mistah J and the physical, emotional, and psychological abuse he shows her in return. It also seems like Harlene Quinzel is another inmate at Arkham Asylum rather than a psychiatrist. This is where the benefit of the doubt comes in because losing those aspects of their dynamic is a big deviation. But I loved Joker enough to wait and see how it works; the thing is that for something like that to work, the movie has to be exceptional. And, to be fair, it’s possible Harlene does begin the movie as a psychiatrist, and these are scenes from later in the movie; and since Joker established that Arthur is an unreliable narrator (to say the least), parts of this could be in his head. But I’m excited for Joker: Folie à Deux more than most other movies coming out, and certainly more than any other comic book movie, even Deadpool & Wolverine.

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