Three years ago, a maladjusted clown danced his way down a flight of stairs. It was one of the most iconic scenes in film that year. It was also one of the most deranged things DC fans had seen since someone decided to put nipples on Batman’s suit. Somehow, the new Joker film might be giving it a run for its money.
Todd Phillips had already confirmed there would be a sequel to the 2019 hit. Due to its dark nature, fans assume any follow-up film would be just as – if not more – gritty than the first. Why shouldn’t they? The first film ended with chaos, mayhem, and yet another reference to the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents.
However, Phillips recently broke his silence to announce the new Joker film would be. . . a musical? There are even rumors of Lady Gaga appearing as Harley Quinn. It already feels like a fever dream, which could be a good or bad thing according to DC fans.
Sounds of madness
It’s important for fans to remember that Phillips’ Joker is not the one with which they’re familiar. He may wreak havoc like him and he may even cackle like him, but what happens to him doesn’t impact the larger DC Extended Universe (DCEU).
While it makes DC fans nervous, it gives Phillips room to play around with the story. He doesn’t have to stick to any set of rules. Entitled Joker: Folie à deux, all the new sequel has to do is, well, whatever it wants to do. It’ll be weird seeing the Joker in a world where characters break into song & dance.
However, Joaquin Phoenix has already shown his rhythmic skills. He even showcased his vocal talents as the legendary Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. The fans may not be ready for what the new sequel will bring, but Phoenix & Lady Gaga are more than ready to bring it.
Gag on this
Lady Gaga has been making a name for herself as an actress since her first appearance in Machete Kills. Yet, she didn’t break out as leading role material until she sang across from Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born. If the rumors are true, her first foray into the world of musicals may be with the new Joker film.
It’s great news for queer DC fans with a background in theater arts. They get to combine their love for Lady Gaga with their appreciation for pirouettes in a rough Gotham setting. Other fans might not be as thrilled seeing as musicals aren’t really known for bringing serious violence.
Joker: Folie à deux may be ready for a new format, but it’s yet to be seen if Lady Gaga is ready to deal with vocal DC fans. She’s no newbie when it comes to bringing her A-game to the big screen. If she handles fans as well as she handles movie critics, though, she may be alright.
Fans of all superhero content have recently sought a new kind of thrill. Various studios have been more than happy to provide. In some ways, this has meant more gore. You can see this in popular Amazon series like The Boys & Invincible.
In other ways, they’ve simply wanted a deep dive into already established characters. Joker did this by offering a live-action origin story for the painted-faced villain. The new sequel will follow in its steps by offering a version of Arthur Fleck that exists even further outside of the DCEU canon.
This is where it might get difficult for DC fans. They’re not known for being big champions of change. They’re notorious for challenging anyone who dares to put a new spin on their favorite content. The era of new takes on old faces is upon us and some DC fans might not be ready.
DC fans are known to push back before they even consider embracing change. They like what they like and “here go hell come” for anyone who dares to give them something different. Phillips wants the Joker sequel to be a musical, but will probably get backlash to these new changes.
Phillps got lucky when the fans responded very well to the 2019 release of Joker. He was also not as lucky when others criticized the film for encouraging violent incel behavior, but that’s neither here nor there. Just know it involved a lot of discourse & editorial think pieces.
DC fans can be quick to renounce new adaptations of their favorite franchises as “not my”. Their trust in Phillips, however, may allow him some grace and maybe even a few brownie points. A musical take on their favorite clown villain might just have them saying “oh my” instead.
Do you want to see Lady Gaga in the new Joker film? How do you feel about Joker: Folie à deux being a musical? Let us know your DC thoughts in the comments below!