There probably isn’t a ton of overlap between folks who think Joker offered a profound examination of mental illness and societal decay and people who went to see Dear Evan Hanson on opening night. However, if you subscribe to the horseshoe theory of cringe, the two groups might actually have more in common than appearances suggest. So basically, Joker 2: The Musical, Starring Lady Gaga is an excellent idea, and if the movie bigwigs don’t find a way to make it happen, I will riot.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ms. Germanotta is in talks to play Harley Quinn in the Joker sequel, which has the real title of Joker: Folie à deux. That’s right, the hot 2024 Halloween costume for the most dysfunctional couple you know might no longer be Margot Robbie and Jared Leto’s Harley Quinn and Joker—instead, if the stars and multi-million dollar contracts align, it could be Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix’s Harley Quinn and Joker.
It’s easy to see why Gaga would want to get in on this: Not only is a sequel an almost guaranteed hit—Joker is the first rated-R film to make a billion dollars at the box office—but the original won two Academy Awards, and Ms. Germanotta has made it very clear that she would like one of those trophies. Just picture the depths of method madness that would result from this sequel! Phoenix famously lost 50 pounds for the first film, and while working on House of Gucci, Gaga’s comments on her artistic process include revealing that she wrote an 80-page biography of her character, momentarily believed that she herself had ordered the murder of Maurizio Gucci, and felt like she got drunk on alcohol-free prop drinks. The press tour alone would be a high-drama masterpiece.
The original Joker was a montage of murder and dance scenes, so making the sequel really lean into the music feels like the obvious next step. I’m picturing a jukebox musical featuring Phoenix and Gaga performing a bevy of throwback hits. Perhaps some ‘90s alt-rock for him (“Creep,” “Loser”), torch songs for her (“My Funny Valentine,” “Fever”), and at least three songs called “Crazy”—my picks would be Aerosmith, Patsy Cline, and Gnarls Barkley. And just think of all the possibilities for duets!