Joker 2 release date, first look and everything we know so far about Joker: Folie à Deux

(L to R) Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker 2, aka Joker: Folie à Deux
(Image credit: Lady Gaga / Twitter)

Not only do we live in a society where Joker 2 (officially titled Joker: Folie à Deux) is going to happen, but Joaquin Phoenix will return alongside pop idol Lady Gaga as his mad love Harley Quinn. 

And get this: Rumor has it the highly anticipated sequel will be a "jukebox musical." Though it's worth noting that DC studio head James Gunn has declared the Joker sequel won't be in the DCU, but instead bear the Elseworlds brand. 

So, if anyone forgot, it's time to remember that the original Phoenix-led Joker movie did so well at the box office (and with critics), that Warner Bros. Pictures is ready for another round of the early days of the clown prince of crime.

The Joker 2 will also get a bit of branding, as DC movies and shows that aren't canon will gain the Elseworlds label. This was announced when James Gunn revealed 10 DCU movies and shows.

To recap, Todd Phillips' Joker took in more than $1 billion at the box office, and (unlike a lot of movies spawning from DC intellectual property) got serious raves from critics. Heck, Phoenix even took home the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for the film (which was also nominated for film of the year).

Will Phillips' Joker run afoul of Robert Pattinson's The Batman? What should we expect from this sequel? Let's find out.

Joker 2 release date confirmed

Joker: Folie à Deux is coming out on October 4, 2024, according to Deadline

If you'd forgotten that Joker 2 was going to happen, you're not alone. News about the film had been simmering in the background for a while, until news of writer/director Todd Phillips signing onto "co-write the next Joker installment" was buried deeply in a The Hollywood Reporter story about the most powerful lawyers in Hollywood. The news cycle picked up again after it was confirmed that not only would the fan-favorite character Harley Quinn appear in the sequel, but she'd be played by Lady Gaga. 

The original Joker movie took about two years to complete: script-writing took place in 2017, and the movie premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival in 2019. 

Joker 2 first look

On social media, director Todd Phillips dropped the first look at Joker 2 with Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix.

To celebrate Valentine's Day, Phillips revealed new images from the sequel showcasing the clown prince of crime and his mad love. He also confirmed that the first Joker: Folie à Deux trailer would go live sometime in mid April. 

In April, we got our first official teaser trailer for Joker: Folie à Deux. The two-minute-long preview follows Joker and Harley Quinn from their seeming first glances at each other to dancing in the rain as their romance blooms and the song "What the World Needs Now Is Love" plays. 

Joker 2 title

Joker 2 isn't the actual title of the film. Joker: Folie à Deux is the full title of the film, as Todd Philips posted to his Instagram.

The title is a play on words. Folie à Deux (French for "madness for two" or "shared madness") is a rare psychiatric disorder where two people share the same delusional beliefs. And of course since "deux" means two, the title also signals that this is a sequel to Joker.

Joker 2 plot

First things first: know that Joker 2 is supposedly a musical, as The Hollywood Reporter broke that news. Insiders with knowledge of the sequel's production later told Variety that it leans heavily towards being “mostly a jukebox musical,” as it integrates at least 15 reinterpretations of “very well-known” songs. An original song or two could also be included in the final version, though details about who would produce or perform the numbers remain unclear. 

Secondly, The Wrap reports that "a lot" of the film is meant to take place inside Arkham Asylum. Which makes the title's reference to "shared madness" make sense. It also matches with the expectation for the other reported star in the film.

Joker 2 cast announcement

Joaquin Phoenix is the only announced returning cast member for Joker 2. On August 4, Lady Gaga joined the Joker 2 cast as Harley Quinn.

Harry Lawtey, breakout star of HBO’s Industry, has also signed on for the project, though his exact role remains unknown. Deadline hinted that he'll be playing a key character from the comics. The actor will be part of an ensemble that includes the previously announced Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener and original Joker cast member Zazie Beetz.

Joker 2: is Joaquin Phoenix coming back?

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Then, let's also do a bit of recap for who can't come back — per the deaths in Joker. Of course, Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) isn't going to be in Joker 2, after he was shot in the head, live on air. Arthur's mother Penny Fleck (Frances Conroy) isn't coming back either, as he suffocated her with a pillow.

And, of course, don't expect to see Martha or Thomas Wayne (at least outside of a flashback), as Joe Chill shot them both.

But what about the Waynes' son? We hear he's got a new movie coming out, too.

Joker 2 Batman rumors

While there is a lot of desire for Batman to be in Joker 2, don't expect it. Such an appearance would require a time-jump forward of at least a decade, if not longer. And we're guessing Joker 2 will focus on the evolution of Mr. J, and not jump straight to the fully-formed Joker (the likely subject of a hypothetical Joker 3, which seems inevitable). 

As for what could happen with an eventual Batman appearance, we're not seeing any reason to expect Robert Pattinson in the Joker 2, Joker 3 or any forthcoming movie. Pattinson said to Yahoo that "It’s kind of a different world."

So, that means Joker will likely get his own version of Batman and Bruce Wayne.

Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.

With contributions from