The ‘Joker’ Sequel Is a Musical: What We Know So Far

Initially creating the film without any further plans, on June 7, director Todd Phillips shared with the world via Instagram that his critically acclaimed movie “Joker” was receiving a sequel. Based on the DC Comics villain of the same, “Joker” stars Joaquin Phoenix as the titular character. In this artistic film, we follow Arthur Fleck, an aspiring comedian who would descend into madness and become the Joker, one of the most well-known villains to terrorize the fictional city of Gotham and be featured alongside Batman in pop culture today. 

With the solo film “Joker” released by Warner Bros. in October of 2019, this movie is the first to differ from the preexisting DC Comic movies of recent years, due to the fact that “Joker” is a self-contained movie. Self-contained comic-book or action movies are difficult to come by these days, as many franchises start up their own cinematic universes, wanting to chase the monumental success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel and DC Comics have long been rivals since their early inception in the comic-book industry, so it was no doubt when Marvel Studios founded the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008, it was only a matter of time until DC Comics (owned by Warner Bros.) would create their own interconnected universe and title it the DC Extended Universe. 

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios.

While Warner Bros. has previously churned out self-contained DC Comics movies such as “The Dark Knight Trilogy” (2005-2008), “Catwoman” (2004) and dozens more, “Joker” is the first self-contained DC Comics film — since the previous “Shazam!,” “Aquaman” and “Justice League” (2017) all belong to the DC Extended Universe. 

The “Joker” sequel titled “Joker: Folie á Deux” does not have a projected release date yet, but Joaquin Phoenix is set to reprise his role as the maniacal villain. Unconfirmed reports say that Lady Gaga is to potentially play Harley Quinn, a psychiatrist assigned to Joker who eventually falls in love with him and becomes his literal partner in crime. Sources also state that the sequel is going to be a musical. Whether it is to be a typical musical such as works like “In the Heights,” “Hairspray” or “Cats” is to be determined and has caused many fans of the character and DC Comics franchise to be dismissive and reject the sequel due to that statement. With an original score by composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, “Joker” was a movie that involved deep and sweeping dramatic tracks as a storytelling element to expose the inner hurt and turmoil in Arthur Fleck, slowly becoming dramatic and epic scores worthy of such a large villain like Joker at the end of the film. The sequel being described as a musical could simply be a more powerful version of the score heard in “Joker,” but the speculated casting choice of Lady Gaga would easily make me think that it would be a typical movie musical. 

With filming taking approximately a year for a large-scale film, an additional year for post-production to wrap and not factoring in any delays in production and release, it is safe to expect that “Joker: Folie á Deux” will be released sometime in winter 2024 or early spring 2025.

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