Director Todd Phillips posted to Instagram the first confirmation that the sequel to 2019’s “Joker” is moving forward on Tuesday — including the cover of the script, written by Phillips and Scott Silver, his collaborator on the first film, with the eyebrow-raising title “Joker: Folie à Deux.”
In the same post, Phillips included a shot of star Joaquin Phoenix reading the screenplay.
Phillips’ original “Joker” film reframed the iconic Batman villain into an anti-hero character study about a struggling comedian and part-time clown performer named Arthur Fleck who becomes a folk hero in Gotham City after he lashes out in acts of shocking violence. Moody, dark, and studiously avoiding the action beats typical of superhero cinema, the film was still a massive global blockbuster, grossing over $1 billion worldwide, and earned 12 Oscar nominations, including for best picture, best director for Phillips, and best adapted screenplay for Phillips and Silver. Phoenix won the Oscar for best actor and Hildur Guðnadóttir won for best original score.
While Phillips did not share any plot details about the film, the title does offer some intriguing implications. Translated literally as “shared madness,” folie à deux is a layman’s term for shared delusional disorder. That could refer to how Arthur’s villainy is widely embraced by Gotham City in the first film, but it could also suggest that Phillips’ sequel will bring in his own interpretation of Joker’s main (and, really, only) compatriot, Harley Quinn — who has been played in other DC adaptations by Margot Robbie (in live-action) and Kaley Cuoco (in animation).
More to come.