It’s been a controversial week for WB and DC. With everything going on with Batgirl, and something of a lackluster showing at Comic-Con, the studio needed to drop some big news. And admittedly news for the sequel to the $1B grossing Joker is big.
Does it change the fact that Batgirl really should be released but won’t be at this time? Nope. But hey, for anyone who was anticipating a follow-up to the Oscar-winning Joaquin Phoenix-starrer, maybe this will help ease the pain.
Of the several pieces of news to come out for Joker: Folie à Deux the biggest win for them is the confirmed casting of Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. This is, of course, something of an Elseworlds take on the clown prince of crime, so Gaga won’t be replacing the Margot Robbie version of Harley any time soon, so much as representing her own interpretation. And Gaga’s a good actress so I think that’s a good decision. The superstar took to social to confirm the news herself, and included the teaser clip that accompanied the announcement.
Along with the casting confirmation, the teaser also confirms the release date for the sequel, which will see itself debuting on the exact same weekend the original first came out, but five years later.
Though controversial, I will be the first to admit that I really liked the original Joker film. It was a refreshing prestige take on the superhero/comic book genre that paid off when the film was ultimately nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and won the Academy Awards for Best Score and Best Actor for Phoenix’s amazing portrayal of Arthur Fleck.
But if I’m to be honest, what I would prefer to a sequel for a White-male rage movie that doesn’t need a sequel would be a fresh take on existing Batman mythology from POC directors and a POC actress in an industry so bereft of this that the only way for a studio to counter controversy would be to release smokescreen news about an unnecessary sequel led by and directed by Caucasian stars and filmmakers. Forgive the cynicism, but it seems to me that news of this caliber just isn’t enough to direct my attention away from the very obvious mistakes the studio is making regarding Batgirl and their complete mishandling of the DC franchise.
Anyway, Joker 2 will be released October 4, 2024.