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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Joker 2 Plot Synopsis Centers on Harley Quinn and Joker's Romance

A synopsis for Joker: Folie à Deux, the upcoming sequel to director Todd Phillips' 2019 DC film Joker, puts the focus squarely on the infamous romance between the Clown Prince of Crime and Harley Quinn -- played by Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga, respectively.

Shared by the Film & Television Industry Alliance (FTIA), the synopsis for Folie à Deux reads, "The musical sequel follows Harley Quinn the Arkham Asylum shrink who falls in love with her patient Arthur Fleck aka Joker." The production listing also states that the Joker sequel is currently stated to begin filming in less than one month's time on Nov. 5.

Directed by Phillips from a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver, Warner Bros. Pictures' Joker premiered in theaters on Oct. 4, 2019. Set in Gotham City during the 1980s and inspired by classic Martin Scorsese films like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, the standalone DC film served to give a new origin to Batman's arch-nemesis, following Phoenix's Arthur Fleck on his descent into madness.

Joker was a massive success, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, as well as the first (and, to date, only) R-rated film to cross $1 billion at the box office. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Warner Bros. green-lit a sequel. Following various murmurs of a continuation, Phillips announced this past June that he would be returning to direct Joker: Folie à Deux, with Silver returning as co-writer and Phoenix attached to reprise his role as Arthur Fleck/Joker.

Later that same month, it came to light that Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born, House of Gucci) was in talks to join Folie à Deux in the iconic role of Harley Quinn, not to mention the fact that the movie was being planned as a musical. Lady Gaga was officially announced to have joined the Joker sequel as the Clown Princess of Crime in early August. Folie à Deux is currently slated to bow in theaters on Oct. 4, 2024 -- five years to the day after Joker's theatrical premiere.

As originally chronicled in Batman: The Animated Series, Dr. Harleen Quinzel was a psychiatrist whose life changed forever when she began interning at the notorious Arkham Asylum. While Dr. Quinzel was fascinated by all of Arkham's patients, she took a particular interest in the Joker. Believing him to be a misunderstood victim of circumstance, she became infatuated with the charismatic clown, ultimately becoming his partner in crime, Harley Quinn. What Harley did not initially realize is that the villainous Joker had been manipulating her from the very beginning. This toxic romance built on the Joker's deception has since been revisited and deconstructed in numerous other DC projects.

Notably, the last time we saw Phoenix's Arthur Fleck, he had been incarcerated at Arkham State Hospital after committing multiple murders and leading a city-wide riot. Given Folie à Deux's premise, however, it seems a new psychiatrist is due to start at the facility rather soon. Interestingly, the sequel's title refers to "the madness of two," a rare phenomenon in which two individuals experience a shared psychosis, typically through a dominant individual forming a delusional belief and imposing it on another -- which would seem to describe the Joker's manipulation of Harley to a T.

Joker: Folie à Deux laughs its way into theaters on Oct. 4, 2024.

Source: Film & Television Industry Alliance

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