Last week, Lady Gaga confirmed that she is indeed a part of Todd Phillips's Joker sequel, Joker: Folie a Deux, setting to rest various rumors about her involvement with the project and seemingly cementing that the sequel will indeed be a musical. The idea that the sequel will be a musical is one that has both intrigued and confused fans, but for one star of Joker, it's a choice that makes perfect sense. Zazie Beetz, who played Sophie in Joker, told The Hollywood Reporter that she thinks the musical approach makes "wonderful sense".
"I actually think it makes wonderful sense," Beetz said. "I wasn't really surprised by that Todd has always had a creative approach to the character. I love musicals, and I think of them as the characters are feeling and experiencing so much that they can only sing and dance about it, whether in sorrow or in joy. And I can actually see that within myself as well, because singing and dancing is quite a cathartic experience for me. I was going through a really, really difficult time at one point in my life, and I just started dancing and crying by myself. And that was an expression that matched where I was at that moment. And so, I can see Arthur, who is feeling and experiencing so much, dancing and singing about it. He's the Joker, so I think it makes sense to me."
Joker: Folie a Deux has been confirmed for an October 4, 2024, release date with Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix set to return as well as Phillips back behind the camera. Phillips co-wrote the sequel script with Scott Silver, and it's believed that Lady Gaga is playing Harleen Quinzel, aka Harley Quinn. The film's title, Folie d Deux, is a reference to a rare psychiatric syndrome sometimes referred to as shared psychosis or shared delusional disorder in which various symptoms of a delusional belief is shared between individuals, usually those who have a close relationship and may also be socially or physically isolated with little interaction with other people — a scenario that would fit an overall Harley/Joker story as well as a previous report that the film is largely set inside Gotham's Arkham Asylum.
"When a movie does $1 billion and cost $60 million to make, of course it comes up," Phillips explained with a laugh in a 2020 interview about a sequel. "But Joaquin and I haven't really decided on it. We're open. I mean, I'd love to work with him on anything, quite frankly. So, who knows? But it would have to have a real thematic resonance the way this one did, ultimately being about childhood trauma and the lack of love, and the loss of empathy. All those things are really what made this movie work for us, so we'd have to have something that had an equal thematic resonance."
Joker: Folie a Deux is set to hit theaters October 4, 2024.