Although Joker was a critical and commercial upon its release in 2019, for a few years, it was unclear if a sequel featuring Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime would actually move forward. But by summer 2022, it was confirmed that Joker 2, a.k.a. Joker: Folie à Deux, is indeed moving forward, with Phoenix being joined by Lady Gaga, who’s heavily rumored to be playing Harley Quinn. In the months since then, Joker 2’s supporting cast has slowly been coming together, and now there’s a new actor to reveal for this lineup.
Harry Lawtey, recognizable from TV shows like The Letter for the King and Industry, as well as the 2021 movie Benediction, has been added to Joker 2 cast. Deadline didn’t learn any specific details about Laity’s role in the upcoming DC movie, but evidently it will be “a big one.” With Lawtey as one of the younger actors who’s boarded Joker 2, the sequel surely has the potential to significantly boost his acting profile.
Along with Joaquin Phoenix reprising Arthur Fleck and Lady Gaga in her yet-to-be-officially confirmed role, Joker 2’s cast also includes Zazie Beetz reprising Sophie Dumond, as well as Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener and Jacob Lofland in undisclosed roles. As with the first movie, Todd Phillips returned to direct and co-write the script with Scott Silver. The duo’s first Joker outing resulted in it becoming the first R-rated movie to cross $1 billion, and it later scored 11 Academy Award nominations, ultimately winning Best Actor and Best Original Score.
When we left off with Arthur Fleck at the end of Joker, he’d initially been freed from police custody by the Gotham City rioters inspired by his actions, including having freshly murdered talk show host Murray Franklin. However, he was then seen at Arkham State Hospital in a session with a therapist, followed by him running loose in the mental institution and leaving bloody footprints as an orderly chased him around. While Warner Bros. is still keeping tight-lipped on Joker 2’s story, it will reportedly be a movie musical set in Arkham, so there’s always the possibility that Harry Lawtey is playing an Arkham employee who gets on Arthur’s bad side.
Joker: Folie à Deux’s subtitle, which translates to “madness shared by two,” refers to an assortment of psychiatric syndromes where a delusion or even hallucination can be passed from one person to another. Considering that Harley Quinn, a.k.a. Harleen Quinzel, is traditionally depicted as psychiatrist who falls in love with The Joker during her time at Arkham and soon becomes his partner-in-crime, that lends credence to the increasingly strong possibility that this is who Lady Gaga is playing. While the first Joker movie cost somewhere between $55-70 million to put together, Joker 2 has reportedly been given a production budget adding up to roughly $150 million. This includes Joaquin Phoenix being paid $20 million for his role reprisal (the same amount Todd Phillips is getting) and Lady Gaga being paid $10 million, plus the cost of putting the musical sequences together.
Joker 2 hits theaters on October 4, 2024, so while we wait for more casting news concerning the sequel, check out what next year’s cinematic landscape looks like by looking over the 2023 new movie releases.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.