Joker: Folie à Deux is on my list of one of the most highly anticipated entries on the 2024 movie schedule. This isn't only because Joaquin Phoenix will have A-list co-star in Lady Gaga but because it’ll also be a musical. In the lead-up to its release date, the film's cinematographer, Lawrence Sher, offered an update on the production. And his sentiments should be enough to get fans of the DC movie excited about what's to come.
And to think, just a couple of years ago, many were questioning if Joker 2 was even happening. It’s nice to know Todd Phillips’ sequel is more than happening, with updates continuing to arrive here and there. On that note, Lawrence Sher spoke to Definition Magazine (with a snippet of the chat shared in an X post). Sher explained just where things stand when it comes to Folie à Deux's production status, and it sounds like the creative team nearly has a finished film on its hands:
Next year we're releasing the new Joker movie, and we're currently in the final stages of post-production. It's a pretty risky movie and it's going to be surprising for people. I'm so excited for everyone to see it.
Now, what I'm most curious about is what he means when he says "surprising" and "risky." Could it be the musical numbers he's referring to? Or maybe this has something to do with Lady Gaga’s transformation into maniacal henchwoman, Harley Quinn? Some might also take this as a comment on the level of violence in the flick. (The first movie faced controversy over concerns about the cinematic origin story inciting violence.) It's hard to say, for sure, what Sher is referencing but, if anything, he seems to indicate that Todd Phillips is trying to up the ante for this outing.
What we know about Joker 2 so far -- aside from the fact that it's going to be ambitious -- is that it'll highlight the relationship between Harley and Mr. J. Lead actor Joaquin Phoenix also received a major pay bump for the sequel, which reportedly has a bigger budget. The extra cash may have went towards those “complicated musical sequences," and the reported $150 million total surely helped with that. With such a massive price tag, one would think that the cinematography will, once again, be top-notch. Surely, Lawrence Sher sought to top his work on the original.
Above all else, I'm particularly curious about these musical sequences. Per reports, Lady Gaga really put in “work”, and that may partially speak to the intricacy of said moments. I have very high hopes for her inclusion and hope that her talents are utilized effectively as she brings Quinn to life. Thus far, two of Gaga's songs have leaked, and they kind of give off Judy Garland vibes. I also wonder if the upcoming movie will be a jukebox musical of covers or if it'll have original songs -- or be a combination of both. And with the surprising amount of dancing in the first installment, I'd imagine the filmmakers will double down on that here, given the story centers around two partners.
Joker: Folie à Deux finished filming this past April, so it's seemingly made solid progress, if post-production is in the homestretch. I'll definitely be thinking about the Lawrence Sher's tease ahead of our first look at the movie, which opens on October 4, 2024. You can also stream its 2019 predecessor with a Max subscription.