The Joker is back, and this time he’s bringing a friend.
Lady Gaga is in early talks to star alongside Joaquin Phoenix in director Todd Phillips’ sequel to Jokerthe $1 billion Oscar-winning 2019 Warner Bros. hit based on the DC character.
Phillips co-wrote the screenplay with Joker co-writer Scott Silver for a while and finally showed it to the studio. Last week, Phillips revealed on social media the title of the new project — Joker: Madness for two — the title referring to a medical term for the same or similar mental disorder that affects two or more people, usually members of the same family. And while the same social media post showed Phoenix reading the script, the actor’s involvement isn’t exactly a legal fait accompli yet – sources say The Hollywood Reporter that Warners has yet to reach a deal with the actor, with both parties deeply involved.
Details about his character are being kept under wraps, but Joker is known for his abusive relationship with Harley Quinn, his psychiatrist at the mental institution known as Arkham Asylum who falls in love with him and becomes his sidekick and partner in crime. . It’s unclear whether Phillips and company are using other DC characters or striking alone, as they did in many cases with their first film.
If a deal is reached, Gaga would play Quinn. However, this new Quinn exists in a different DC Universe than Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, which most recently appeared in 2021. The Suicide Squad as well as several other films.
But wait, that’s not all: sources say the sequel is also a musical.
When Warners first did Joker, it was far from certain. A dark and brooding character piece, the project was a Taxi driver-meets-King of Comedy descent into madness in a decaying city of the late 1970s. Business prospects were deemed nominal and they were only budgeted at $60 million.
At the time of its release in October 2019, Joker rode on a wave of fall film festival adulation, which helped propel the film into a record-breaking opening weekend, with box office analysts changing their prediction every day. It ended its theatrical run as the highest-grossing No. 4 R-rated film of all time. It went on to earn 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor (for Phoenix) and Best Score (for Hildur Guonadottir).
Phillips previously produced A star is bornthe 2018 remake which starred Joker producer Bradley Cooper and Gaga.