After weeks of rumors, Lady Gaga officially joins Joaquin Phoenix in 'Joker' sequel

·3 min read
A blond woman in a blue dress holding a microphone and standing with her arms outstretched
Lady Gaga performs at the 2022 Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. (Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press)

J-J-J-Joker face, J-J-Joker face.

Lady Gaga has officially joined the cast of Warner Bros.' "Joker" sequel opposite Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck. After weeks of speculation about the Grammy and Oscar winner's involvement in the project, the "Chromatica" artist confirmed the rumors Thursday by posting an animated clip of herself and Phoenix dancing in silhouette to the standard "Cheek to Cheek."

The promotional video also reveals a title and release date for the film: "Joker: Folie à Deux," out Oct. 4, 2024.

According to Variety, Gaga is expected to play unhinged Gotham City villain Harley Quinn in the follow-up to 2019's "Joker," a dark origin story about Batman's cackling nemesis that was nominated for 11 Oscars.

At the 92nd Academy Awards, Phoenix took home the prize for lead actor, while "Joker" composer Hildur Guðnadóttir became the first woman in 20 years to win the Oscar for original score. Todd Phillips, who received an Oscar nomination for directing "Joker," is returning to helm the sequel.

“In the second or third week of shooting ['Joker'], I was like, ‘Todd, can you start working on a sequel? There’s way too much to explore,’” Phoenix told The Times in 2019. “It was kind of in jest — but not really.”

“It would have to have some thematic resonance in a similar way that ['Joker'] does," Phillips added. "Because I think that’s ultimately why the movie connected, it’s what’s going on underneath. So many movies are about the spark, and this is about the powder. If you could capture that again in a real way, that would be interesting.”

Unlike its predecessor, "Joker: Folie à Deux" will be a musical, which likely contributed to the decision to cast a world-renowned musician as the female lead. Gaga previously acted and sang in the 2018 remake of "A Star Is Born," which landed her an Academy Award nomination for lead actress and an Oscar for her original song "Shallow."

The casting announcement for "Joker 2" comes shortly after Warner Bros. abandoned plans to release another DC Comics adaptation, "Batgirl," which had already wrapped production and was supposed to come out on HBO Max.

Amid reports that the studio giant will no longer offer the superhero film on its streaming platform or in theaters, "Batgirl" directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah issued a joint statement Wednesday expressing their disappointment.

"We are saddened and shocked by the news. We still can’t believe it,” they said.

“As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.”

Leslie Grace — who was set to star in "Batgirl" as the titular character — also responded to Warner Bros.' controversial decision via Instagram.

"I feel blessed to have worked among absolute greats and forged relationships for a lifetime in the process!" the "In the Heights" actor wrote.

"To every Batgirl fan - THANK YOU for the love and belief, allowing me to take on the cape and become, as Babs said best, 'my own damn hero!' #Batgirl for life!"

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.