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Joker sequel: Todd Phillips reveals first look at Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn in Folie a Deux

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That’s the look, the look of love.

If there was ever to be a romantic moment shared between two sociopaths with a penchant for theatrical make-up, this is it.

Joker director Todd Phillips has marked Valentine’s Day by sharing the first look at Lady Gaga in the sequel to his nihilistic and darker-than-dark anti-hero origin story.

Gaga is rumoured to be playing Harley Quinn, frequent girlfriend to the Joker, the role which won Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar. While it’s not confirmed if that is her role, the photo Phillips shared to Instagram strongly implies it is.

In the picture, Phoenix’s Joker is looking at Gaga’s maybe-Harley with an adoring stare, is met from maybe-Harley with a look that seems to be a swirl of fear, passion, disbelief, incomprehension and thirst.

Phillips captioned the post with “Happy Valentine’s Day”.

Love is complicated.

The Joker movie ended with Arthur Fleck/Joker captive in Arkham Asylum, the perfect set-up for his destined meeting with Harley Quinn, who works there as a psychiatrist. Traditionally, their meeting at Arkham is what sparks romance and rampage.

There are few details about the Joker sequel, only its subtitle (Folie a Deux) and its release date (October 2024).

Filming began in December, which Phillips revealed when he posted a first look image of Phoenix in character. When Gaga was first linked to the sequel, there were rumours it would be a musical.

The 2019 film was a surprise hit for Warner Bros when the movie earnt over $US1 billion at the box office despite, or perhaps because of, controversy surrounding the film’s violence and sympathetic of a misogynistic sociopath.

In the film, Arthur is a downtrodden loner who becomes increasingly unhinged and eventually “snaps” in a destructive, murderous frenzy. He becomes a flashpoint figure for legion of disaffected men – both on and, disturbingly, off the screen.

Joker: Folie a Deux is in production at a time when DC Studios is undergoing monumental changes under the new creative leadership of co-chief executives James Gunn and Peter Safran. Gunn and Safran are relaunching most of DC Studios’ movies and TV slate under a renewed vision, which includes reboots of Superman and Green Lantern.

However, Phillips’ Joker movies, and Matt Reeves’ Batman titles, will not be housed under the wider DC Studios continuity. These works will be labelled “DC Elseworld” to distinguish them from “DC Universe” stories.

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