When will Joker 2: Folie à Deux be released?

Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix returns as Arthur Fleck in the long-awaited DC sequel

Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga in Joker: Folie à Deux
Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga star in Joker: Folie à Deux. (Warner Bros.)

Joaquin Phoenix is getting the last laugh in Joker: Folie à Deux — also known as Joker 2 — which will come to cinemas on 4 October.

The Oscar winner is returning as Arthur Fleck, who takes on the mantle of the titular Clown Prince of Crime, with Lady Gaga starring opposite him as Harley Quinn.

Following in the bloody footsteps of 2019’s original, the sequel will once again be directed by Hangover filmmaker Todd Phillips and co-written by Phillips and Scott Silver.

Joker left us with more questions than answers, but with the first movie being pitched as a standalone that wasn’t connected to the worlds of DC, many thought the story ended here.

Read more: Every upcoming DC movie and TV show

It’s not the typical Batman movie you might expect, and with Joker bagging Phoenix an Academy Award for Best Actor, there are equally high hopes for Joker: Folie à Deux to perform.

If you’re ready to put on a happy face, here’s everything we know about the Joker 2 release date, cast, plot, and more.

When will Joker: Folie à Deux be released?

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker: Folie à Deux
The film will released in cinemas on 4 October. (Instagram/Todd Phillips)

Joker: Folie à Deux is due to hit UK and US cinemas on 4 October, exactly five years after the first film.

The film has already earned an R rating from the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in America. According to Deadline, the film is Rated R for “some strong violence, language throughout, some sexuality, and brief full nudity.”

The first film also earned an R rating, which translates to a 15 rating in the UK.

Is there a trailer for Joker: Folie à Deux?

The teaser trailer for Joker: Folie à Deux landed online in April. In the clip, set against the music What The World Needs Now by Jackie DeShannon, Phoenix is in the Joker’s signature make-up, and is seen taking the stage and performing in a nightclub.

The teaser sees Gaga and Phoenix run through the streets and dance elegantly against a moonlit sky, and ends with Quinn visiting the Joker in prison.

Watch it below:

What does Folie à Deux mean?

A new poster for Joker: Folie a Deux was released in April. (Warner Bros.)
A new poster for Joker: Folie a Deux was released in April. (Warner Bros.)

As defined by the Collins dictionary, Folie à Deux is a psychiatric term for “mental illness occurring simultaneously in two intimately related persons who share some of the elements of the illness, such as delusions.”

The literal translation from French is ‘double insanity’, and the first instance of the term was recorded in the 19th century. It is now defined as Shared Psychotic Disorder (SPD), and usually affects two or more people. There is usually a dominant partner, and another who acts under the other’s influence.

According to the National Library of Medicine, the condition is often associated with social isolation, one of the key themes of the first Joker movie.

Who in in the Joker: Folie à Deux cast?

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: Joaquin Phoenix accepts the Actor In A Leading Role award for 'Joker' onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Joaquin Phoenix accepted his Best Actor Oscar for Joker in 2020. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Surprising no one, Joaquin Phoenix will once again be slathering on the grease paint as Arthur Fleck. 2019’s Joker included an all-star cast that saw the lead share the screen with the likes of Frances Conroy, Robert De Niro, and Zazie Beetz.

Beetz will reprise her role as Fleck’s neighbour Sophie Dumond. Newcomers to the cast will include Alan Partridge star Steve Coogan, In Bruges’ Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener, Harry Lawtey and Jacob Lofland.

Lady Gaga will bring queen of chaos Harley Quinn to life, marking her first film role since 2021’s House of Gucci.

The Chromatica singer was first pictured on the set of Joker: Folie à Deux in March 2023, outside the New York State Supreme Court Building. A month later, she was photographed shooting scenes at the famous New York steps that Phoenix’s Fleck danced down in the first movie.

Lady Gaga filming Joker: Folie à Deux
Lady Gaga will play Harley Quinn in the DC sequel. (Kena Tetancur/AFP)

As reported on Entertainment Weekly, Gaga’s dedication to inhabiting the body of someone else appears to have gone all the way, with the star only wanting to be referred to as ‘Lee’ whilst on set — perhaps as a shortened version of Harley Quinn.

“I remember I didn’t know Stefani at all and, strangely, I felt like I never even really met her, even during the makeup and hair test,” said director of photography Lawrence Sher, speaking to The Trenches podcast. The name he’s using refers to Gaga’s birth name of Stefani Germanotta.

“And then, the AD at one point said, ‘oh, you know, Stef would like if you just called her Lee on set’, and I was like, ‘Oh, 100 percent,’ and.... the next thing I said was something ‘Lee,’ and it was like everything changed,” he continued.

“From that point on it was like, our whole connection changed. I was like, alright, cool, that’s all I need to know. That changed everything. Then we made the rest of the movie, and it was much more of connection.”

Lady Gaga on the set of Joker: Folie à Deux
Lady Gaga on the famous Joker steps in April 2023. (BauerGriffin/MediaPunch /IPX)

One cast member who has seemingly confirmed he would return in Joker 2 is Justin Theroux. The actor made a blink and you'll miss it cameo in the first film as Ethan Chase, a guest on Murray Franklin’s chat show. In April 2023 he shared a photo on Instagram with Todd Phillips and Lady Gaga with the caption ‘Midnight jokers’ and ‘#thatsawrap’.

The unreliable narrator of Joker means there’s a chance De Niro’s Murray Franklin wasn’t gunned down on live television, but we’d be surprised if he’s back.

Looking at more likely inclusions, Douglas Hodge could also reprise his role as Alfred Pennyworth, while Dante Pereira-Olsen’s young Bruce Wayne makes sense if Folie à Deux wants to explore the origins of Batman and Mr. J’s toxic relationship.

What is the Joker: Folie à Deux plot?

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in Joker
Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in Joker. (Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros)

The Hollywood Reporter described Joker 2 as a musical, which would be a massive departure from what came before, but to be honest, something typically Joker-esque.

In early 2024, this was backtracked a tad, with the movie’s cinematographer Sher suggesting that “music is a part of the movie and the characters, but I don’t know if it’s a musical,“ adding: “It just has music in it, that’s all.” Variety later described the sequel as “a drama with musical elements.”

On Valentine’s Day 2024, Phillips released some new images from the movie that saw Joker and Harley Quinn embracing and enjoying a quick dance. The trailer for the film will likely reveal all, and it has been announced that it will be released on 9 April.

The ending of Joker left things on something of a cliffhanger. An incarcerated Fleck was locked up in Arkham State Hospital at some unknown point after he incited riots across Gotham City. Fleck broke free after possibly murdering his therapist, so it’s likely Folie à Deux will follow him on the run as he continues his descent into becoming Joker.

Lady Gaga in Joker: Folie à Deux
Lady Gaga in Joker: Folie à Deux. (Instagram/Todd Phillips)

The concept of a musical is another interesting one, suggesting that Joker 2 could follow in the footsteps of everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to The Boys having musical episodes. It also leans further into the idea we’ll dive deeper into Fleck’s mind this time around.

In 2019, Phillips said he’d envisioned Joker as the first of three movies. It just so happens 2020’s Batman: Three Jokers comic series included three versions of the villain, which could play out in live-action.

When Dafoe made a mythical pitch for Joker 2, the star said, “There is something interesting about, like, if there was a Joker imposter. So it would be possible to have not duelling Jokers but someone that says to be the Joker that isn't the Joker.”

Interestingly, the title of Folie à Deux could hint at where things are heading. The title translates as a “delusion or mental illness shared by two people in close association,” so it sounds like Fleck will be sharing the screen with someone else.

Whether it’s the dual personality of Fleck and Joker or a direct reference to Batman/Bruce Wayne having a bigger part to play in Arthur’s evolution, there’s one more popular idea.

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 23: (L-R) Actor Joaquin Phoenix and Director Todd Phillips attend the
Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips attend the Paris Joker premiere, 2019. (Getty Images)

Dafoe imagined a plot where someone was imitating what Fleck did, which would effectively make our tragic anti-hero into a full-blown hero hunting down an even more psychotic Clown Prince of Crime.

Before Joker came out, there were questions about the age difference between Fleck and Bruce Wayne, leading to theories that this version of the Joker isn’t the one Batman ends up fighting. If you aren’t convinced, remember the Wayne’s were watching Zorro, The Gay Blade, which featured the original Zorro training his gay twin as the next hero.

Could we see Phoenix pulling double duty as Arthur and a twin brother? Probably not, but multiple Jokers is an idea that’s picking up steam. Taking a leaf out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s book of world-building, Phoenix’s Fleck could mentor Barry Keoghan’s Joker from The Batman?

However, Reeves and Phillips seem to be keeping their outings as separate entities from anything in the Worlds of DC.

Joker: Folie A Deux is in cinemas on 4 October.