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Lady Gaga is the next live-action Harley Quinn, Joaquin Phoenix's 'Joker' sequel sets 2024 release

Lady Gaga will play Mr. J's main squeeze in the 2024 film.

By Matthew Jackson
Joker Joaquin Phoenix

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. Pictures revealed that the sequel to the Oscar-winning blockbuster Joker will arrive on October 4, 2024, five years to the day after the first film debuted in U.S. theaters. Today, we have official confirmation that the sequel's cast will include none other than Lady Gaga in the role of Mr. J's main squeeze, Harley Quinn. 

Gaga herself revealed the news, following up on earlier reports of her involvement, with a simple teaser posted to her Twitter account along with the film's just-announced release date. The teaser, set to an instrumental of the Irving Berlin standard "Cheek to Cheek," features silhouettes of Joker and Harley dancing together, and suggests a slightly different look for this film's version of Harley, with a long dress and heels to go with what might be a heart-shaped tattoo on her cheek. 

The Joker sequel has long been expected, but details didn't really begin to firm up until earlier this year, when writer/director Todd Phillips shared a title page for his script and revealed the follow-up will be called Joker: Folie à Deux (French for "shared psychosis"), and that the screenplay is already in the hands of star Joaquin Phoenix. A few weeks later, reports began to circulate that the new film will include musical elements, and that Gaga would join the franchise as Harley. 

Set in an alternate universe version of Gotham City removed from the DCEU (and Margot Robbie's depiction of Harley Quinn), Joker arrive in the fall of 2019 to controversy and acclaim, winning the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival and eventually earning two Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Phoenix. At the box office, it became the first R-rated movie to ever gross more than $1 billion worldwide, all but guaranteeing a sequel would arrive eventually. 

Now, the question becomes how exactly the film will advance the story from the original Joker, which was firmly geared toward providing an origin story in which aspiring stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck transformed into the Clown Prince of Crime and launched his reign of terror in Gotham. That reign was just beginning at the end of the first film, which saw Arthur's rise to power as a kind of Gotham folk hero and ended up with the death of a young Bruce Wayne's parents, setting up the rise of Batman as well as the rise of The Joker. It's too soon to tell how much time will pass between the two films, and there's still a lot of casting to go before we know the full ensemble, but Folie à Deux is already shaping up to be one of the most-talked about films of 2024.