Joker: Folie à Deux seems to be the last man standing with the Discovery+ and Warner Bros. merger. There are other projects still in the works, but the sequel to the Joker film, which grossed $1.07 billion globally, is still on their priority list and a new look into what’s happening with the Warner Bros. Discovery merger and their line-up gives us a bit of a glance into the film as a whole and where they’re taking it.
In a new piece by Variety, it is “stressed” by an insider that the film is more in line with A Star Is Born instead of In The Heights. The film’s budget was also part of the report with Lady Gaga, who will be playing Harley Quinn, getting $10 million, director Todd Phillips earning a $20 million payday along with star Joaquin Phoenix. This means that the sequel will cost roughly $150 million to make.
The first film starred Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a clown and “comedian” who becomes a mockery, and was seemingly a commentary on mental health. While the film was not based in the comic lore of Gotham or the Joker, we did see some characters we knew and loved like Thomas Wayne and a young Bruce leading to the death of the Wayne family as we’ve come to see time and time again.
The choice of A Star Is Born and In the Heights as comparisons is curious. Both were Warner Bros. Pictures so maybe they just wanted to use their own slate of musicals as an example? But the choice is still worth considering. It likely means that the music of Joker: Folie à Deux will be built into the story as a diagetic performance, the way it was in A Star Is Born. The same insider says that the film will feature “complicated musical sequences,” adding to the budget of the film, so perhaps at the end of the day it will wind up being a combination of the two.
With Gaga cast as Harley Quinn, it’d make sense to have a musical aspect to it. She’s an incredibly talented actress, but we know Gaga best for her music. So combining them again à la A Star Is Born does have me interested in the film in a way that I was not prior to these announcements. Still, there’s so many unanswered questions about Joker: Folie à Deux and the musical theatre kid in me does want to know what A Star Is Born vs. In The Heights actually means but we’ll just have to wait and see.