The first trailer for Joker: Folie à Deux is here (and it's a must-watch)

On April 9, during the Cinema Con presentation, Warner Bros Pictures unveiled the first official footage and trailer for Todd Phillips' Joker: Folie à Deux. 
Joker: Folie à Deux | Official Teaser Trailer
Joker: Folie à Deux | Official Teaser Trailer / Warner Bros. Pictures

Get ready to return to a Gotham City without Batman. Yes, that unexpected Joker sequel is approaching, and that is much clearer than ever this week.

On April 9, during the Cinema Con presentation, Warner Bros Pictures and DC Studios unveiled the first official footage and trailer for Todd Phillips' Joker: Folie à Deux. It was immediately released online (after a full week of teasing), and needless to say it has caused quite the stir. You can watch it below:

The Joaquin Phoenix-led sequel also welcomes singer and actress Lady Gaga as Harleen Quinzel, a.k.a. Harley Quinn, and she very much takes center stage in the trailer. The Joker himself, real name Arthur Fleck, is immediately intrigued by her and seemingly hatch a plan to break out of Arkham Asylum. That plan appears to work, as the pair end up out of confinement too, ready to spread their diabolical form of whimsy in Gotham City.

Rounding out the film’s ensemble will be Zazie Beetz, who returns as as Sophie Dumond, along with the new cast members Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener, Jacob Lofland, and Harry Lawtey who will play undisclosed roles. 

Trades have confirmed that the film will offer a unique twist and feel like a musical throughout its story. Adding to this, the soundtrack, heavily inspired by classic Liza Minnelli musicals such as Cabaret, New York, New York, and That's Entertainment, promises to be a standout feature among this twisted corner of the DC Elseworld film brand. Those sequences were also seemingly present in the trailer in the theatrical moments in which Joker and Harley are seen dancing together.

Todd Phillips’ Joker was a massive departure from the source material that birthed its titular character and it was a creative inception that thrust audiences into the world of a Gotham City that was vastly different from other variations of the historic comic book locale, as the film took place in the late 80s and the cinematography could be best labeled as “dirty, grimy, and devoid of hope.”

Phillips has gone on record about the core thinking behind that strategy and the decision to create this story involving the character of The Joker, telling The Los Angeles Times:

"I don’t believe that in the real world if you fell into a vat of acid you would turn white and have a smile and your hair would be green. So you start backward-engineering these things and it becomes really interesting."

Todd Phillips, Director, Joker 2019

The film’s narrative was centered around the concept of what drives a human being to the point of the clinical break, but one could also look at the film as a whole as the reconstruction of a historic character thrust into our world but peeled away to the hollow shell of Arthur Fleck, played to perfection and pain by Joaquin Phoenix. For those who don’t know, Fleck is a failed comedian trying to make his way into the cesspool of Gotham and the eventual downward spiral of Fleck becoming the Clown Prince of Crime. Now, with the sequel's focus on Harley, and the relationship between the two, could we see a similar backstory explored for her?

Even though Joker steered clear of the comics, there were times that it felt like Fleck was an amalgamation of other past incarnations and previous variations, with little nods here and there - from the make-up, suit color design, and the iconic laugh.

The first film received mixed reception from critics and audiences alike as it holds a 69% score on Rotten Tomatoes. However, despite this, the film did surpass 1 billion dollars at the box office and won Phoenix an Academy Award for his performance.

Joker: Folie à Deux will open in theaters on October 4, 2024. It has been rated R.

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