Lady Gaga in talks for Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker sequel

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A superstar is in talks to join the Joker sequel as Harley Quinn, but that’s not even the most eyebrow-raising bit.

Well, this is a Hollywood twist no one saw coming – and if you say you did, you’re probably lying.

The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on a surprise casting move: Lady Gaga is in talks to join the Joker sequel as Harley Quinn, the deranged girlfriend of Joaquin Phoenix’s title character, Arthur Fleck/The Joker.

In the comic books, Quinn was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, where she met and became romantically involved with Joker, with the pair then wreaking havoc on Gotham. The first Joker movie ended with The Joker inside Arkham, but on the verge of escape.

Gaga’s Harley Quinn would be different to the character played by Margot Robbie in movies Birds of Prey, Suicide Squad (2016) and The Suicide Squad (2021).

Gaga had previously worked with Joker director and co-screenwriter Todd Phillips on A Star is Born. Phillips was a producer on the Bradley Cooper version of the Oscar-nominated drama, and Cooper was a producer on Joker. Phillips and Cooper worked on three Hangover movies together.

Gaga’s potential casting makes sense when you consider that THR also reports the Joker sequel is going to be a musical, an eyebrow-raising departure from the first Joker, which was dark, grim and nihilistic.

Perhaps, if the musical part pans out, the follow-up could be a rock opera with grand, sweeping emotional beats.

The first film already had a pageantry about it, and its most famous scene featured Phoenix in a choreographed dance on the Bronx staircase which has already been colloquially renamed as “The Joker Stairs”.

Phillips revealed last week the subtitle for the Joker sequel will be Folie a Deux, posting it alongside a photograph of Phoenix reading the script.

THR said Phoenix’s involvement in the sequel is not yet locked and that his team are still in negotiations with the studio over his contract. It’s highly unlikely another instalment would go ahead without Phoenix, who won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role.

Joker’s release in 2019 was mired in controversy over the film’s violence and tone with detractors arguing that Phillips’ movie worships villainous behaviour.

Time’s critic, prominent film writer Stephanie Zacharek wrote, “The movie lionises and glamorises Arthur even as it shakes it head, faux-sorrowfully, over his violent behaviour”.

Despite – or maybe because of – the charged debate, Joker went onto to be a hit with audiences, particularly men. It ended its box office run with $US1.07 billion in ticket sales.

The Joker movies are part of the DC Extended Universe, which differs from its Marvel counterparts in that they are not necessarily connected.

There are two other Jokers in the DCEU including Jared Leto’s version in Suicide Squad and another played by Barry Keoghan which was teased in the end credits scene of The Batman.

The next DCEU movies up for release will be Black Adam in October, a Shazam sequel in December and Batgirl in 2023.

Originally published as Lady Gaga in talks for Joker sequel, which is reportedly a musical



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