Joker: Folie à Deux - Lady Gaga and the Crown Prince of Crime

Obligatory Nick Lutsko vid from the initial announcement that it will be a musical:


An early leak of the Joker fighting Poison Ivy’s henchmen…maybe.

Because if you’re going to put the word ‘deux’ in a film’s title, this is the first place my mind goes.

Maybe he’ll eat her heart?

Uh oh.

The budget for Todd Phillips’ musical “Joker” sequel — one of De Luca and Abdy’s first green lights — has ballooned to about $200 million, a significant bump from the $60 million cost of the first film. Sources say Joaquin Phoenix is getting $20 million to reprise his role as the clown prince of crime, while Lady Gaga is taking home about $12 million to play Harley Quinn. “Joker” took in more than $1 billion, but musicals are tricky. Case in point: Warners lost $40 million on last year’s “The Color Purple,” according to sources.

The Joker 2 is going to bomb hard. I’m honestly not sure why the first one was a hit, but I don’t think that kind of morose, aggressively unfun antihero film will play well twice. Unless the songs are just dynamite, there is no way moviegoers are going to flock to see Joaquin Phoenix’s spine twisted into disturbing configurations again. The original was a movie about the kid who got picked on in school so he grabs a rifle to go on a shooting spree. It’s hard to see how that vibes with “musical” and “superhero film.”

I had no idea this was supposed to be a musical. I really liked the first film, and I’ll definitely check this one out. But I’m not getting my expectations up.

You always have the musical bump, movie reviewers are 98% theater kids that didn’t have enough chops to make it on the stage, so any musical usually gets rave critical reviews. The public, though, very much wants a musical that has a compelling love story, if history is any judge. If I had to lay odds, I’m going to go with “massive acting talent” and “massive musical talent” and say it will be a modest success. If the actual directing and story come through at the level of the actors, then you may have something special.

I knew it was a musical, I knew Lady Gaga was in it, I never figured out that she was playing Harley Quinn. I suppose that’s a natural starting point, considering where the last movie left off.

This needs to be in subtitles, though. Folie à Deux? What does that even mean? Am I going to have to be Google Translating the whole thing?

Okay, now that I did actually google Folie à Deux, it makes more sense. I thought it was some kind of turn of the century Parisian dancehall craze.

Throwing my 2 cents into the “this is going to bomb” hat. I don’t see any crossover between comic-book fans and musical fans. This seems like a massive miscalculation to me.

I’ve kind of noticed that Lady Gaga is either cashing in or trying to find some angle to push her career forward recently because she’s showing up in everywhere. She’s apparently in Fortnite (?!) she’s showing up at the Super Bowl to get in on the Swift frenzy (looking pretty morose), she’s doing old folks soap opera hour painful joint medicine commercials, she’s in this thing, ect. It’s all so disjointed and disconnected it does feel like cashing in while the cashing in is still good.

Nature of pop, I would think. Taylor Swift is Jupiter at moon distance, blotting out almost everyone else (at least based on how many mentions of her I see daily in news) so I can see how Gaga is feeling the need to get out there and diversify. Plus, she was at peak in the early 2010s, IIRC. A decade is a century in pop music.

Lady Gaga had A Star Is Born and the big song from Top Gun: Maverick, while Taylor Swift was in Cats. Advantage Gaga, at least in the film world.

Just as I suspected, the French subtitle panicked the executives.


It’s still right there on the poster, am I missing something?

It’s so tiny. At a glance this is just “Joker” again which is all they want people to know. It’s not a well known term and I can’t think of many mass market American movies that use obviously French words, so little exotic appeal in testing, I suspect. In psychology it’s no longer used and we generally aren’t drawn to archaic language.

The typical Warner executive probably wishes they could call it Joke’s On You or Joker & Harley or Jokered or something like that.


I’m still mispronouncing Hot Shots! Part Deux and that came out 31 years ago.

Once I Googled “Folie à Deux” upthread a bit, it made a lot more sense why they chose that, if it’s about Harley Quinn getting pulled into Arthur Jokerman’s brand of crazy. Batman movies in general incorporate a bunch of the archaic, and Joker 1 was definitely set in the years where the Big Apple was rotting, The King of Comedy was just about to come out, and presumably Folie à Deux was still a thing. Is there a comparable term for the disorder nowadays? Has it been disproved?