First 'Joker: Folie à Deux' Teaser Trailer Sees Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga Mixing Madness With the Healing Power of Music

Todd Phillips is back in the director's chair for the musical sequel to 2019's Oscar-winning 'Joker,' this time boasting Gaga's Harley Quinn.

View this video on YouTube

Joaquin Phoenix returns to the role that landed him his first Oscar win in Todd Phillips’ Joker: Folie à Deux, the long-awaited first teaser trailer for which was released on Tuesday.

This time around, Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck is joined by Lady Gaga’s psychiatrist-turned-partner Harley Quinn, a character whose own history of big-name portrayals has previously counted Margot Robbie (Birds of Prey and related titles) and Kaley Cuoco (Max's animated Harley series).

Set to a trailer-fied version of the timeless ballad "What the World Needs Now Is Love," the teaser goes heavy on the healing power of music. While it doesn't appear to show Gaga or Phoenix singing onscreen, there's plenty of dancing.

As you've likely heard in the years since 2019's original Joker rollout, Phillips' sequel gives our two leads a surprising musical foundation from which to explore the shared madness referenced in the film's title.

Promotional poster for 'Joker' featuring Joaquin Phoenix in makeup, embracing Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn, with spotlight above

Per EW, Phillips shared his thoughts on whether the film is genuinely a musical in the traditional sense at CinemaCon Las Vegas on Tuesday.

"We never really talked about it like that, but I like to say it's a film where music is an essential element," he said. "To me, that doesn't veer too far from the first film. Arthur's weird and aloof and all these things, but he has music in him. He has a grace to him. That informed a lot of the dancing in the first didn't feel like that big of a step here. It's different, but I think it'll make sense when you see it."

Fans are aware that the original Joker was intended to serve as a standalone entry in the larger DC films universe. Shortly after Joker's (very) successful 2019 release, however, speculation was high that a sequel would indeed be brought to the big screen, although Gaga's involvement wasn't confirmed until three years later.

At the 2020 Oscars, Phoenix took home the Best Actor trophy for his transformative Joker performance. It was the always-brilliant actor’s first win but far from his first nomination, as he’d previously received nods for Gladiator, Walk the Line, and The Master. Gaga is also an Oscar winner, having taken home Best Original Song in 2019 for the A Star Is Born centerpiece "Shallow." That same year, she was nominated for Best Actress for her turn as Ally in the musical drama directed by co-star Bradley Cooper.

See the Joker sequel's just-released teaser trailer up top. Folie à Deux, which this writer argues could pair nicely with a revisit of Fall Out Boy's initially underrated 2008 album of the same name, hits theaters on Oct. 4.

Latest in Pop Culture