Joker 2 (title: Joker: Folie A Deux) is officially in the works for 2024 release, and as first reported, the Joker sequel will see Lady Gaga staring opposite Joaquin Phoenix's Joker as Harley Quinn. Joker: Folie A Deux will be a dark musical that will certainly benefit from having Lady Gaga's vocals and popstar persona at its disposal. But with Gaga coming to act, sing, and dance as well, how much is Warner Bros. paying her for all that action?
A new report in Variety breaks down what Lady Gaga is getting paid for Joker 2 – and it's alot:
Both Joaquin Phoenix and director Todd Phillips are believed to be getting $20 million paydays, and new costar Lady Gaga is getting $10 million. Those salaries, combined with the cost of producing complicated musical sequences (though one insider stresses "Joker 2" is more like "A Star Is Born" than "In the Heights"), means that the sequel will cost roughly $150 million to produce.
The more notable thing here is that Joker: Folie A Deux's budget is making a huge jump from where the first film started. Joker's major appeal was being more in line with small-budget feature or indie movie ($60-80 million), which then had Warner Bros. marketing it on the festival circuit, long before the big movie marketing push. Joker 2 will be starting off as a big-budget movie, which seems like it could take away the greatest advantage that the franchise has going for it.
"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," Joker 2 star Zazie Beetz said in defense of the musical approach. "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 will be in theaters on October 4, 2024.