Joker 2: Folie à Deux: Release date, cast and plot for Joaquin Phoenix sequel

Send in the clowns

Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker 2. (Warner Bros.)
Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker 2. (Warner Bros.)

Todd Phillips is getting the last laugh, as Joker 2 — Joker: Folie à Deux — will come to cinemas on 4 October, 2024.

Following in the bloody footsteps of 2019’s original, the Hangover filmmaker is returning to direct a sequel to the psychological thriller. Joaquin Phoenix also returns as Arthur Fleck, who takes on the mantle of the titular Clown Prince of Crime.

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.

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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.

Joker 2 release date

Joker: Folie a deux is due to hit cinemas on 4 October, 2024.

Warner Bros. has a packed slate of DC movies on the way, with everything from The Batman Part II to The Flash taking us far beyond 2023.

Joker 2 cast

Joaquin Phoenix in Joker: Folie a deux. (Instagram/Todd Phillips)
Joaquin Phoenix in Joker: Folie a deux. (Instagram/Todd Phillips)

Surprising no one, 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.

When it comes to returning cast members, there aren’t many options - but we do know that Beetz will return alongside mystery newcomers Catherine Keener, Brendan Gleeson, Harry Lawtey and Jacob Lofland.

Lady Gaga has also confirmed she will appear alongside Joaquin Phoenix as Harley Quinn in the upcoming sequel. The Chromatica singer shared a red and black post to Instagram in August 2022 which was accompanied by the film’s scheduled release date.

Phillips, who has reunited with writer Scott Silver for the project, also shared the video, captioning it “cheek to cheek”.

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

On Valentine's Day 2023, the first look at Gaga as Harley Quinn was shared online by the singer, and a month later, she was first spotted on set outside the New York State Supreme Court Building.

At the start of April, Gaga was photographed shooting scenes at the famous New York steps that Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck danced down in the first movie.

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.

Lady Gaga on the set of
Lady Gaga on the set of Joker: Folie Au' Deux in New York City on 1 April, 2023. (BauerGriffin/MediaPunch /IPX)

"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."

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, and 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.

Zazie Beatz and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (Credit: Warner Bros)
Zazie Beatz and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker. (Warner Bros)

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.

Read more: Joaquin Phoenix won't 'force' his son to be vegan

Finally, with Willem Dafoe talking so much about Joker — and even throwing his ideas around for a sequel — who wouldn’t want to see the Green Goblin actor join the unhinged party?

Joker 2 plot

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

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.

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.

Lady Gaga in Joker: Folie a deux. (Instagram/Todd Phillips)
Lady Gaga in Joker: Folie a deux. (Instagram/Todd Phillips)

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.

There's someone else other than Batman that shares their life with the Joker, and Folie à Deux is the perfect opportunity to introduce Harley Quinn to this dark and brooding world. Just like Dr. Harleen Quinzel worked at Arkham Asylum, Joker’s ending perfect sets her up.

Joker: Folie à Deux. (Warner Bros.)
Joker: Folie à Deux. (Warner Bros.)

With Joker standing on its own much like Reeves’ The Batman, it’s doubtful Margot Robbie will make the leap from the Suicide Squad movies for Joker 2. The topsy-turvy nature of Joker’s narrative means it’s not completely outside the realms of possibility.

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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."

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 23: (L-R) Actor Joaquin Phoenix and Director Todd Phillips attend the
Joaquin Phoenix and rirector 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, 2024.

Watch the trailer for Joker