Art and culture

Joaquin Phoenix, Lady Gaga Fall in Twisted Love

The Clown Prince of Crime and Harley Quinn want you to know that what the world needs now is… love.

That’s the message of the first trailer for “Joker: Folie à Deux,” which sees Joaquin Phoenix reprise his role as Arthur Fleck (who later becomes Batman’s notorious foe) and conspire with Lady Gaga as the equally twisted Harley Quinn.

The dark and gritty footage begins at Arkham Asylum — where Joker is locked up at the end of the first film — as Arthur Fleck has a deranged “meet cute” with another patient (you guessed it, Gaga’s Harley Quinn). After the chance encounter, they plan to break out of their straight jackets and take on the world beyond their padded cells. That brings them to the streets of Gotham, where they manically dance and twirl around the city.

“I’m nobody. I haven’t done anything with my life like you have,” Harley Quinn, who mimes shooting herself in the head with a finger gun, tells Joker.

The first film served as a moody origin story for the Joker, a struggling stand-up comedian and part-time clown named Arthur Fleck. In the sequel, he takes his act on the road and performs on all kinds of stages with Harley Quinn as his demented muse. In this cinematic adventure, though, he doesn’t seem so lonely.

“I’ll tell you what’s changed,” Joker says in the trailer. “I’m not alone anymore.”

Director Todd Phillips debuted the footage at CinemaCon, the annual convention for movie theater owners. Although the original 2019 “Joker” was billed as a “one-off,” Phillips said he and Phoenix always talked about making a sequel.

“We loved the character of Arthur too much, but we didn’t want to jinx the [original] movie,” Phillips said. “We cast Gaga because she’s magic.”

Little is known about the plot of sequel, which is reportedly a jukebox musical. Phillips said categorization isn’t entirely accurate, though it will feature plenty of song and dance numbers.

“Music is an essential element,” says Phillips. “It doesn’t veer too far from the first film.”

“Joker” became a massive blockbuster with $1 billion at the global box office, the first R-rated film to pass the billion-dollar mark. It earned 11 Oscar nominations, including best picture, and won two awards (Phoenix for best actor and Hildur Guðnadóttir for original score).

“Joker 2” will debut on the big screen on Oct. 4, 2024 — exactly five years after the first film. The original cost $62.5 million to produce, an unusually conservative budget for a comic book adaptation. Given its runaway financial success, the follow-up was granted a much more substantial $200 million price tag.

Footage of “Joker” debuted as part of Warner Bros.’ presentation to exhibitors. The studio also has “Beetlejuice 2,” “Horizon: An American Saga” and “Mad Max” prequel “Furiosa” on its 2024 slate.

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  • Source of information and images “variety “

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