Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix in 'Joker: Folie a Deux'

The First Trailer for ‘Joker: Folie à Deux’ Delivers on an Unhinged Premise

Against all odds, Joker: Folie à Deux has become one of my most anticipated movies of 2024. Maybe it’s the brain worms, maybe Madame Web did too much to validate our morbid fascination with flops. I don’t care. Just bring on the mentally ill dancing clowns.

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And the first trailer for Joker: Folie à Deux delivers on just that. Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker-man meets the love of his life, Harley Quinn, in Arkham Asylum and they seemingly bond over music therapy and shared delusions (hence the title). There are lots of musical touches, including what appear to be hallucinatory sequences of a Joker and Harley variety show, a Fred Astaire-esque dance number, and even a reference to The Umbrellas of friggin’ Cherbourg.

Warner Bros. released an official poster for Joker: Folie à Deux, featuring Lady Gaga as Harleen Quinzel (a doctor, lest you forget) and Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a.k.a. the eponymous clown-man. “The world is a stage,” reads the tagline, certainly cribbed from Gaga’s yearbook quote.

Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga in the poster for 'Joker: Folie a Deux'
(Warner Bros.)

Lady Gaga is starring opposite Joaquin Phoenix in Todd Phillips’ pretentiously titled sequel to 2019’s pretentiously conceived Joker. Leave it to a film bro named Todd to reimagine Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy as a movie about Batman’s favorite villain. The sequel is somehow even more unhinged: a jukebox musical (featuring around 15 covers of well-known songs) about mental illness, based on comic book characters.

Given the choice between the current run of uninspired superhero blockbusters and Todd Phillips indulging Lady Gaga’s best worst tendencies, I’m inclined toward the latter. Put it this way: With all the kooky shit going on in Joker: Folie à Deux, there’s probably less downtime to contemplate better, more humane ways to spend $200 million.

Joker: Folie à Deux also stars Zazie Beetz (reprising her role from Joker), Catherine Keener, Brendan Gleeson, Steve Coogan, and Jacob Lofland. The sequel arrives on October 4.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)


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Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.
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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.