This is, to use the most obvious phrase on the table, not a joke: according to a new report, Oscar-winning singer-turned-actress Lady Gaga is in early negotiations to co-star as Harley Quinn opposite Joaquin Phoenix (also an Oscar winner) in DC Comics and Todd Phillips’ Joker sequel, recently announced to be titled Joker: Folie à deux. Which is apparently a musical!
Yeah, that is a lot to take in. But it comes from a reliable source: the Hollywood Reporter, which had the exclusive on the news—which is not a done deal yet, much like the rest of what we know about Joker. So far, just about all we do know for sure is a) Joker was a huge hit and a sequel seemed inevitable despite the seeming stand-alone-ness of the 2019 film, and b) Phillips very recently shared a glimpse of the sequel script, co-written once again with Scott Silver, revealing the title (Joker: Folie à deux) and a cigar-smoking Phoenix perusing its pages, even if THR reminds us, “Warners has yet to close a deal with the actor,” though negotiations are underway.
How does Lady Gaga figure into all this? “Details on her character are being kept under wraps,” per the trade, but “if a deal makes, Gaga would play [well-known Joker associate Harley] Quinn. However, this new Quinn exists in a different DC universe than Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, which most recently appeared in 2021’s The Suicide Squad as well as several other films.” Why Gaga, other than her proven ability to vibrate at larger-than-life frequencies both while playing characters onscreen (House of Gucci, in which she co-starred with a certain other actor known for playing the Joker, and A Star is Born—the latter of which was produced by Phillips) and just in her generally colorful, over-the-top life as a pop icon? “Sources say the sequel is also a musical,” THR teases.
So, uh, wow. A live-action musical, presumably with the same gritty look and nihilistic tone as Joker, co-starring Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. Honestly anything this left-field carries with it a bit of danger and excitement—and speaking of those particular qualities, did anyone really expect Joker to set the world on fire like it did? To put it another way, and to quote Arthur Fleck himself: “Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?” What’s your take on this news?
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