Joker 2 (or Joker: Folie A Deux) is in the works for a 2024 theatrical release, with both director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix both returning. However, Joker fans may also be interested to know that Zazie Beetz is also returning for Joker 2 – or according to reports she's at least "in talks to reprise her role." Beetz starred in the first Joker as Sophie Dumond, a neighbor and possible love interest of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) in the dilapidated Gotham apartment complex the struggling comedian lived in.
Calling Beetz role in Joker a "possible love interest" is putting it nicely: in one of Joker's big twist reveals, we learn that an entire subplot of Arthur gaining the confidence to court Sophie has been nothing but a personal delusion. Sophie came home to find out a soaking-wet Arthur sitting on her couch, totally lost in his own fantasy. Joker left Sophie's fate as ambiguous as so many other aspects of the movie's "reality" but director Todd Phillips later confirmed that Sophie indeed lived and that scenes confirming were cut from the final film.
It's hard to speculate how Joker: Folie A Deux would make use of Sophie's character again. So far we know the sequel is going to be a musical, with Lady Gaga starring as Harley Quinn. We also know that Arkham Asylum will be the setting of Joker 2 for much of its runtime.
Given the twisted nature of the Joker/Harley romance, Zazie Beetz's Sophie could actually be in real peril – if Harley ever finds out just how much Arthur was into her. Beetz could also just as easily be brought in to play another fantasy version of Sophie, who Arthur imagines for comfort while he's locked up in Arkham all alone. The figment of Sophie fading away (or being killed) and replaced by Harley would be a major arc for sorts for the Joker character.
Joaquin Phoenix will reportedly go from $4.5 million to $20 million in salary for Joker 2. While that may sound like a massive (over)payday, the first Joker earned over a billion dollars and two Oscars on the budget of a mid-tier movie ($60-80 million). Right now, Joker 2 seems poised to be one of few franchise hits DC has in the pipeline, and with Gaga co-starring, it's almost guaranteed to at least do as big a bank as the first film.
Joker: Folie A Deux will be in theaters on October 4, 2024.