Despite the gear-shifting in the wake of the Warner Brothers-Discovery merger, one thing is clear: Batgirl may have fallen but the Joker has survived.
Joker: Folie à Deux, the sequel to the Todd Phillips film, is the only DC offering that has thus far been greenlit to remain in production. However, according to Variety, Matt Reeves’s Batman sequel is also highly likely to receive a go-ahead.
In the Joker sequel, set to make its debut in October 2024, Joaquin Phoenix will be reprising his role as the title character. It’s been reported that Lady Gaga will play opposite him, in the role of Harley Quinn.
Some major changes are in the offing, however. Folie à Deux will be produced as a musical. Actor Zazie Beetz, who played the role of Sophie Dumond, expressed her approval for this move, saying, “I actually think that it makes wonderful sense. I wasn’t really surprised by that. Todd [Phillips] has always had a creative approach to the [Joker].”
Beetz added, “I love musicals, and I think of them as the characters are feeling and experiencing so much that they can only sing and dance about it, whether in sorrow or in joy.”
The new sequel will also be set primarily in the Arkham Asylum, according to informed sources. In the earlier Joker, this is the place that Arthur Fleck visited in search of his mother’s medical files.
The move to greenlight the Joker follows a tumultuous few months for the studio. After the controversial decision to axe the Batgirl film, DC Extended Universe announced it was also delaying the release of some of its other projects: Aquaman and the Last Kingdom will now be released on December 25, 2023 instead of March 17; and Shazam! Fury of the Gods had its debut date moved from December 21, 2022 to March 17, 2023.