Don’t rain on their parade. Just one week after the news that Todd Phillips’ long-expected “Joker” sequel was indeed moving right along, complete with a script and a title for the followup to the blockbuster feature starring eventual Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime, we’ve already got more details about the project.
And what details they are. The Hollywood Reporter shares the news that not only has Phillips allegedly found his leading lady — very necessary for a film currently titled “Joker: Folie à Deux” — in no less than the multi-talented Lady Gaga, who is currently in “early talks” for the role of Harley Quinn, Joker’s iconic (and equally as crazy) lover. THR reports that “this new Quinn exists in a different DC universe than the Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, which most recently appeared in 2021’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ as well as several other films,” including the Robbie-starring spinoff “Birds of Prey.”
And what would a Lady Gaga-starring feature be without a musical component? THR also reports that — big gasp! — the sequel is being set up as a musical. Given the wild affection for Phoenix’s dance moves during the first film and the full-force talent of the multi-Grammy-winning Gaga, this wild pairing actually makes a bit of sense?
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. While Gaga is still in early talks for the gig, THR also reports that sources tell them the studio has also yet to close a deal with Phoenix, “with the two sides deep into it.” We’re guessing they’ll figure it out, especially as this news lights up the internet.
“Joker,” the sixth highest-grossing film of 2019, was the first R-rated movie ever to gross over $1 billion worldwide. By most measures, it’s the most profitable comic book movie ever, with a budget somewhere between 55 and 70 million dollars and a final worldwide gross of $1.074 billion.
The film not only won Phoenix the Best Actor prize at the 92nd Academy Awards but Hildur Guðnadóttir the Best Original Score statuette for her moody, string-heavy music. The film received 11 Oscar nominations overall. Gaga was most recently nominated for a Best Actress nod for her work in “A Star Is Born,” in addition to two Best Song nods for the film, including the eventual winner, “Shallow.”
There’s no word on when “Joker: Folie à Deux” will hit theaters, but this sudden rush of major news about the project signals Warner Bros. Discovery’s apparent interest in keeping its off-kilter superhero spinoff going, even during fraught times at the studio, which has struggled to duplicate the success of Phillips’ smash hit.
IndieWire has reached out to Warner Bros. for comment.