Joker 2 director Todd Phillips explains why he has revealed a first look at Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker but not one of Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn.
Joker 2 director Todd Phillips explains why he has not yet revealed a first look at Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn. Joker fans were ecstatic when they learned back in 2019 that a sequel to the blockbuster was being set up at Warner Bros. with Joaquin Phoenix set to return as Arthur Fleck. But that ecstasy was cranked up even higher when, in June 2022, it was revealed that Lady Gaga was joining the cast in the role of Joker’s partner-in-crime Harley Quinn.
Production on Joker: Folie a Deux (as the movie is officially known) is now indeed underway. And fans have excitingly already been treated to a first look image of Phoenix in his return as Arthur Fleck. But unfortunately, a first look at Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn was not released at the same time. Fans certainly noticed the lack of a Gaga update, and began hitting up Phillips’ DMs. Things in fact got noisy enough that Phillips felt the need to reply to a Lady Gaga fansite on Instagram, explaining exactly why he hasn’t yet revealed a first look at Gaga as Quinn. As it turns out, it’s impossible to release a first look right now as Gaga has yet to arrive on set. As Phillips explained (via Digital Spy):
“Getting a lot of these messages in my DMs. And on here. Sorry to say that LG does not start with us until after the new year. So it’s gonna be a bit.”
Everything We Know About Joker 2
2019’s Joker stood out from the comic book movie crowd by being a drama featuring an unusually hard-hitting depiction of mental illness. Joker 2 will now pull off a different trick to distinguish it from the average comic book movie, bringing musical elements to the world of Joker and Harley Quinn. Reports of Joker 2’s musical approach are naturally dividing fans, but for her part, original Joker actor Zazie Beetz defended the idea, saying it makes “wonderful sense.”
What certainly makes “wonderful sense” about Joker 2 from a fan perspective is the movie being set in Arkham Asylum, a place that is very familiar from Joker lore. The Arkham Asylum setting also feels right because of Harley Quinn’s connection to that iconic Batman location via her original identity, Dr. Harleen Quinzel. Certainly, the “folie a deux” referred to in Joker 2’s official title is a characterization of the “madness of two” between Quinzel and Fleck. As for original DCU Harley Quinn actor Margot Robbie, she has already given her blessing to Lady Gaga taking over the role.
In addition to the aforementioned Phoenix and Lady Gaga, the Arkham-set Joker 2 will also welcome a returning Beetz alongside Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener, Jacob Lofland and Harry Lawtey. As for concerns that the recent shake-up in the DC hierarchy, with James Gunn and Peter Safran now steering the DC Studios ship, might spell bad news for Phillips’ vision being carried out on Joker 2, fans can apparently relax as the new power structure reportedly won’t impact the movie. Now that the film is indeed shooting, all fans can do is sit tight and wait for their first look at Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. Unfortunately, it seems that wait might be a little longer than most fans would prefer.
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