Although Batman’s arch-nemesis The Joker has been played by multiple actors on film over the decades, in 2019, the Clown Prince of Crime finally got the cinematic spotlight to himself in Joker. Starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, the standalone DC movie ended up hauling in over $1 billion worldwide. As a result, although Joker was originally intended to be a one-and-done affair, there’s been talk in the years since then about making a sequel, and now director Todd Phillips has confirmed that Joker 2 is indeed happening by revealing its title.
Taking to his Instagram account, Todd Phillips shared two pictures: the first showing the cover page of this Joker sequel, and the second of Joaquin Phoenix reading the script. As you’ll see below, the movie's working title is Joker: Folie à deux, the latter French term translating into English as “folly of two” or “madness of two.” It’s the name of a psychiatric syndrome referring to the sharing of delusional beliefs, and sometimes even hallucinations, between two people.
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Todd Phillips didn’t reveal anything else about this movie he co-wrote with Scott Silver, but sharing a title like that is more than enough to get the brain juices flowing. Here’s a quick refresher though: at the end of the first Joker movie, Arthur Fleck, who’d fully embraced his clownish persona, was thrown into Arkham State Hospital, but his influence had already spread across Gotham City. After murdering talk show host Murray Abraham on live TV, the clown-masked protestors across the city instigated riots, and amidst the chaos, the young Bruce Wayne saw his parents gunned down by one of the rioters. Now that we know Joker 2 is called Folie à deux, that indicates one of the people who looked up to Arthur will follow in his footsteps and become a new Joker.
Assuming this is indeed what Joker 2’s premise will be, this sounds a lot like what Willem Dafoe pitched back in January about wanting to play a Joker impostor who clashes with Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. However, there is another angle to consider: instead of another Joker, what if we’ll meet a different version of Harley Quinn than the one Margot Robbie plays in the DCEU? Harleen Quinzel crossed paths with the Clown Prince of Crime while working as a psychiatrist at Arkham, and after succumbing to his charms, she became his love interest and partner-in-crime. Perhaps Folie à deux is in reference to her.
It may be a while until we learn specifically what the Joker sequel has in store, and quite frankly, Folie à deux may not end up being its final title. Still, for those who enjoyed that first movie, this is another big step forward for this corner of the DC multiverse. This news also arrives days after it was reported that Todd Phillips was asked by Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav to serve as an advisor for upcoming DC movies.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on the Joker sequel’s progress. Joaquin Phoenix can be seen later this year in the A24 movie Disappointment Blvd. alongside actors like Nathan Lane, Patti Lupone and Amy Ryan.
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