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Joker 2 director Todd Phillips addresses musical rumours

Director assured fans ‘it’ll make sense when you see it’

Ellie Muir
Wednesday 10 April 2024 12:24 BST
Joker: Folie à Deux trailer

Todd Phillips, the director of the forthcoming Joker sequel, has addressed rumours that the new film will be a musical.

After the trailer for the DC Studios film, titled Joker: Folie à Deux, was released on Tuesday (9 April), fans noticed that there were several shots in which Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker (aka Arthur Fleck) and Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn are seen dancing and singing.

In one scene, the pair perform on stage to an adoring audience at what appears to be a cabaret club. In another, they are depicted waltzing on a rooftop.

This has led fans to question whether the sequel is, in fact, a musical – a theory that has gained further traction given the involvement of Grammy-winning pop star Gaga as Quinn.

Speaking at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Tuesday night (9 April), Phillips was questioned over the many musical sequences in the trailer, and asked outright whether Folie à Deux (translated in Engish to Madness for Two) is a musical.

“We never really talked about it like that, but I like to say it’s a film where music is an essential element,” he replied as per Entertainment Weekly. “To me, that doesn’t veer too far from the first film.”

He assured fans that it will “make sense” when they watch the film.

A dance scene in the ‘Joker 2’ trailer (Warner Bros)

“Arthur [Fleck]’s weird and aloof and all these things, but he has music in him. He has a grace to him,” said Phillips. “That informed a lot of the dancing in the first film. It didn’t feel like that big of a step here. It’s different, but I think it’ll make sense when you see it.”

The newly released trailer sees Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck continue his reign of terror in Gotham City, with Gaga’s Harley now by his side.

Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn dancing on stage in the ‘Joker 2’ trailer (Warner Bros)

In previous adaptations of the DC Comics character, Harley Quinn starts out as a psychiatrist called Harleen Quinzel who becomes romantically infatuated with the Joker and turns to a life of crime.

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It’s still unclear to what extent Folie à Deux will deviate from this origin story, but the trailer suggests that the pair meet at a psychiatric ward before embarking on an adventure together.

Harley Quinn and Joker in another dance scene (Warner Bros)

The 2019 film Joker tracked the mental decline of aspiring comedian and clown Arthur Fleck. His violent Joker persona emerges as a result of his social and romantic rejection, and he goes on to become a cult anti-hero.

Phoenix won an Oscar for his performance, and the film made more than $1bn at the box office, becoming the most profitable R-rated movie of all time.

The sequel is currently slated to arrive in cinemas on 4 October 2024, the fifth anniversary of the original film’s release.

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