Director Todd Phillips on Tuesday made the first official confirmation about the long-rumoured sequel to his billion-dollar grossing hit Joker. Phillips took to Instagram to share a picture of the script, which revealed the title: Joker: Folie à Deux. In the same post, he added a black-and-white picture of star Joaquin Phoenix reading the script, while smoking a cigarette.
Phoenix won an Oscar for his lead performance in the film, which went on to become the most successful R-rated movie of all time, grossing over $1 billion worldwide. Joker scored 11 Oscar nominations in total, including for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, and also won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The new film will also be written by the original’s Phillips and Scott Silver.
The title–Folie à Deux–might be temporary, but it has already fuelled speculation among fans. A French medical term for ‘shared madness’, the title could refer to any number of things. It could introduce new copycat criminals inspired by Joker’s antics in the first film, which ended with the character becoming something of an anarchist symbol. Or, it could mean that Arthur Fleck is going to cross paths with an adult Bruce Wayne/Batman, or perhaps his love interest from the comics, Harley Quinn. “Willem Dafoe as second Joker?” one fan speculated in the comments. “I’ve been waiting for a film on the love story of Joker & Harley forever!!!!!!” another fan commented.
Joker exists in a parallel timeline from the DC Extended Universe movies, and even director Matt Reeves’ Batman universe, in which Joker will be played by Barry Keoghan. In the DCEU, the character was played by Jared Leto.
The date on Phillips’ script reads May 18, 2022, but Deadline reports that Phoenix read it ‘a while ago’ and that the film ‘is a go’ despite the studio still negotiating ‘a rich deal’ for Phoenix to reprise the role.