joker imax poster
joker imax poster

The sequel to Joker, fully titled Joker: Folie à Deux, just unleashed its first official photo, showcasing imagery that’s as bleak and solipsistic as its predecessor.

The return of Joaquin Phoenix to his Best Leading Actor Oscar-winning role as Arthur Fleck, a.k.a. the Joker, in the upcoming follow-up film has been given a glance, albeit one that’s ever so small. The image comes straight from the source, director Todd Phillips, who used his Instagram to sneak in a Saturday afternoon surprise for fans. While not overtly revelatory about the film’s plot, the image seemingly shows Arthur still at Arkham Asylum, where the story last showed him attempting an escape. However, he is depicted shirtless with his head seemingly pushed against a table with a face covered in shaving cream as an unidentified figure gives him an uncomfortable-looking shave.

Joker: Folie à Deux releases its first image, courtesy of director Todd Phillips, showing Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck in a literal close shave.

The sequel to Joker, fully titled Joker: Folie à Deux, just unleashed its first official photo, showcasing imagery that’s as bleak and solipsistic as its predecessor.

The return of Joaquin Phoenix to his Best Leading Actor Oscar-winning role as Arthur Fleck, a.k.a. the Joker, in the upcoming follow-up film has been given a glance, albeit one that’s ever so small. The image comes straight from the source, director Todd Phillips, who used his Instagram to sneak in a Saturday afternoon surprise for fans. While not overtly revelatory about the film’s plot, the image seemingly shows Arthur still at Arkham Asylum, where the story last showed him attempting an escape. However, he is depicted shirtless with his head seemingly pushed against a table with a face covered in shaving cream as an unidentified figure gives him an uncomfortable-looking shave.

Joker 2 Starts Rolling Cameras

Phillips used the photo to commemorate the first day of shooting, complementing it with a caption the reads, “Our boy.” While lacking substantive details, the director’s photo post implies that production on Joker 2 just started, which somewhat belies the timeline of a recent report, which claimed the specific start date of Nov. 5. Regardless, whether it came down to a delay or a last-minute push-back, the sequel is clearly experiencing forward momentum going into the holiday season.

Of course, the idea that Arthur is still in Arkham Asylum does line up with the Joker: Folie à Deux plot synopsis recently shared by the Film & Television Industry Alliance. Indeed, it seems that the psychopathic protagonist might end up appreciating the shave job since he’s set for a fateful meeting with his iconic, similarly psychopathic significant other. As the synopsis reads: “The musical sequel follows Harley Quinn the Arkham Asylum shrink who falls in love with her patient Arthur Fleck aka Joker.”

Pertinent to Harley Quinn, it is already a well-known fact that pop star and burgeoning film actor Lady Gaga is co-starring in the musically minded film, embodying the role of the therapist who gets twisted into becoming Joker’s concubine and criminal cohort. The nuanced character, famously played by Margot Robbie in DC Studios’ other comic book films, should provide plenty of opportunity for Gaga to expand her depth as a performer. She is coming off recent roles in director Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci in 2021 and her acclaimed co-starring turn in A Star is Born, for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2019.

Thus, while the 2019 first film centered on Arthur’s steady — unreliable narrator trope-filled — descent into madness, fans can expect Folie à Deux to center around Phoenix’s chemistry with Gaga, albeit chemistry confined to an institution for the criminally insane. In fact, cinematographer Lawrence Sher recently shared an insider’s perspective on the possibilities of what could occur when the Joker sequel stars finally collide onscreen. “The combination of the two will be exactly what we hope, which is exciting, and we’ll find magic every day on set,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll also have a bit of madness in there. We like when there is a little bit of chaos.”

Joker: Folie à Deux is scheduled to hit theaters on Oct. 4, 2024.

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