See Joaquin Phoenix, Lady Gaga teaser



LAS VEGAS – Joaquin Phoenix danced down the stairs and flashed a little soft-shoe in the first “Joker” when he wasn't murdering people. Now he and his new co-star Lady Gaga have to sing in the sequel.

Director Todd Phillips presented a first look at his new musical psychological thriller “Joker: Folie à Deux,” in which Phoenix once again plays the crazy comedian and criminal Arthur Fleck, aka Joker, and introduces Gaga as his lover Harleen Quinzel (better known as Harley). Quinn), who is apparently a fellow inmate. After teasing fans early Tuesday with a short clip of Fleck laughing hysterically in the pouring rain, Phillips debuted the first trailer during a Warner Bros. panel at CinemaCon, the annual convention for theater owners and studios.

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The trailer shows Arthur in Gotham City's Arkham Asylum, imprisoned for his crimes. He meets Harley, who is already a fan: “I’m nobody. “I’ve never done anything like you in my life,” she tells him. She wants them to break out, and the rest of the footage shows her at large but also dancing and singing in fantastic musical numbers. (As in the first film, there seems to be a mixing of the real and the imaginary.)

But during his CinemaCon presentation, Phillips pushed back against the new “Joker” being viewed as a conventional “musical.” “We've never talked about it like that before. It is a film in which music is an essential element,” he said. The director and Phoenix spoke about how in the original Joker, “Arthur is strange and distant, but he has music in him.” He has grace in him. It didn’t seem like such a big step from what we’re doing here.”

The first “Joker” was a scary origin story that polarized critics but was a huge success at the box office: It was the first R-rated film to gross more than $1 billion and was the top-grossing film of 2019 sixth highest grossing figures worldwide. The next chapter changes things up by incorporating musical elements, retelling the DC Comics “love story” – or, to quote a Gaga song, a really bad romance – between Joker and Harley.

Phoenix won a Best Actor Oscar in 2020 for his portrayal of the iconic supervillain in the first “Joker,” which was also nominated for Best Picture. Gaga is the second actress, after Margot Robbie, to portray a live-action Harley Quinn on the big screen.

“Joker: Folie à Deux” is scheduled to hit theaters on October 4th. The cast includes a returning Zazie Beetz as well as Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener and Steve Coogan.