Who is Lady Gaga playing in ‘Joker: Folie à Deux?’

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On Thursday, Aug. 4, filmmaker Todd Phillips uploaded an official teaser animation for the sequel to his critically acclaimed DC Comics adaptation and stand-alone origin story, Joker (2019). Around the same time, the official Joker movie Instagram and singer-songwriter Lady Gaga reposted the short clip, which announced that Gaga will be joining Joaquin Phoenix in Phillips’ sequel. The film will be called Joker: Folie à Deux — defined as “delusion or mental illness shared by two people in close association.”

But who exactly is Gaga playing? Subtle hints from the teaser hint at Gaga portraying the Clown Princess of Crime herself, Harley Quinn, formerly known as Dr. Harleen Quinzel. However, as you might remember, DC Comics already cast its Harlequin in 32-year-old Australian actress Margot Robbie, who made her on-screen debut as Quinn in David Ayers’ Suicide Squad (2016) and reprised the role in Cathy Yan’s Birds Of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (2021).

Although it would seem that Robbie’s preoccupation as Harley Quinn should deter any other actresses from pursuing the part, it has been confirmed that Toff Phillips’ Joker, and its upcoming sequel, do not share continuity with any other DCEU (DC Extended Universe) films, therefore it has the go-ahead to do as it pleases — including a recast of Joker’s right-hand woman. There have been countless renditions of Harley Quinn on-screen, although only voiceover roles thus far: Kaley Cuoco, Melissa Rauch, Tara Strong, and — of course — the incomparable Arleen Sorkin, known for bringing Harley Quinn to life for the first time in Batman: The Animated Series.

In the teaser, we see Phoenix’s outline as Arthur Fleck aka Joker, which comes as no surprise. However, Gaga’s silhouette has an uncanny resemblance to one Harley Quinn. There are several indications that point toward the former psychiatrist: the up-do, the heart-shaped mark on her cheek and the flowing gown, which has become synonymous with Harley’s fashion sense after Robbie made it iconic in The Suicide Squad. So, it certainly seems as if Gaga might be embodying Quinn for Phillips’ Joker-verse.

As much as Joker fans have gotten their hopes up for Gaga’s portrayal, her role in Joker: Folie à Deux has yet to be officially confirmed from a reliable source. Additionally, some outlets, including the Batman wiki, have yet to name Gaga’s role in Phillips’ anticipated sequel, so maybe it isn’t necessarily Harley Quinn, but rather an original character made in her likeness. After all, Arthur Fleck — as far as DC Comics are concerned — doesn’t exist. It’s only his alter-ego, Joker, that has ties back to the comics from whence he came. There are contradictory sources surrounding this, like IMDB listing Gaga as “Harley Quinn” under the “Cast” section. But, right now, all thoughts and opinions are mere speculation. Fingers crossed that Gaga does make a valiant effort to reinvent Harley Quinn in her own image, even if it does strike up controversy with the existing Robbie-Harley fanbase.

Joker: Folie à Deux is scheduled for theatrical release on October 4, 2024.