Joker 2 release date, first look and everything we know so far

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

We live in a society where Joker 2 is going to happen, and we've just got our first look. Also, James Gunn's declared that the Joker sequel and other DC movies won't be in the DCU, but instead bear the Elseworlds brand. 

So, if anyone forgot, it's time to remember that the original Joaquin 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 2 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. That means, we're off to the races.

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. This is why we think late 2023 is around the time Joker 2 will debut. 

Joker 2 first look

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

(Image credit: Lady Gaga / Twitter)

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 roughly translates to "shared madness," which makes sense considering what we just heard.

Joker 2 plot

First things first: know that Joker 2 is supposedly a musical, as The Hollywood Reporter broke that news.

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. And while her role isn't confirmed, it looks like she could be playing Harley Quinn, as The Hollywood Reporter reported when this rumor first emerged.

Sophie Dumond (as played by Zazie Beetz) is also possible to return, as Arthur did not kill Sophie. This was confirmed by cinematographer Lawrence Sher. She did not "wrong" Arthur, so he had no revenge to seek. 

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.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.