Joker 2 trailer teases the grand musical ambitions of Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga’s Folie a Deux

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Wenlei Ma
The Nightly
Joker: Folie a Deux will be released in cinemas on October 3.
Joker: Folie a Deux will be released in cinemas on October 3. Credit: Warner Bros

Warner Bros has released the first trailer for Joker: Folie a Deux and now we finally know what Todd Philips had in mind when he decided to follow up his nihilistic supervillain movie with a musical.

The film sees Joaquin Phoenix return to the role of Arthur Fleck, a disaffected and psychopathic man who wreaked havoc in Gotham and inspired cadres of angry men to riot, before being locked up in the city’s Arkham Asylum.

The story picks up with Arthur catching a glimpse of Harley Quinn, played by Lady Gaga, who looks to be a fellow inmate. Canonically in the comic books, she is a psychiatrist who originally treated Arthur as a doctor.

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Joker: Folie a Deux will be released in cinemas on October 3.
Joker: Folie a Deux stars Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga. Credit: Warner Bros

The trailer teases a love story as the pair spark and seem to escape into a fantasy world staged to look like old Hollywood musicals. There are also images of Arthur and Harley out in the real world, beyond Arkham’s walls, although it’s hard to tell what aspects are imagined or not.

The subtitle, Folie a Deux, refers to a delusion shared by two people.

Variety earlier reported the film is expected to have at least 15 musical numbers. The trailer is set to Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now”.

The musical genre naturally lends itself to a larger-than-life romance, if that’s what Philips’ film is striving for, which the video suggests it will be.

Joker: Folie a Deux will be released in cinemas on October 3.
Joker: Folie a Deux will be released in cinemas on October 3. Credit: Warner Bros

At one point, a doctor character portrayed by Steve Coogan asks Arthur, “What’s changed” to which the deranged clown replies, “I’ll tell you what’s changed, I’m not alone anymore”.

Does true companionship and love mean Arthur will make good life choices? Probably not.

The film also stars Brendan Gleeson, Zazie Beetz, Catherine Keener, Ken Leung and Jacob Lofland.

The first film was a surprise box office hit, earning over $US1 billion globally. It was nominated for 11 Oscars and won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

But it wasn’t without controversy, attracting criticisms for its high level of violence and the film’s attempt to give a sympathetic origin story to a mass murderer. Time’s Stephanie Zacharek wrote Arthur could “easily be adopted as the patron saint of incels”.

Joker: Folie a Deux is in Australian cinemas on October 3.

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