When Joker was released in theaters, fans were amazed to see a more humanized version of the character than the otherwise evil incarnate version of his comic book counterpart with the startling performance Joaquin Phoenix gave as the Clown Prince of Crime, many praised him for being the best Joker actor since Heath Ledger’s iteration of the character in The Dark Knight (2008). Joker told the origin story of Arthur Fleck before he became Batman’s greatest adversary and Gotham’s recurring threat. This story takes a different approach by creating a more sympathetic Joker who goes “ahead of the curve” after suffering the evils of society. 

The film would garner critical and financial success making over $1 billion at the box office. This success would prove invaluable and spark a sequel, Joker: Folie à Deux, a musical starring artist Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn set to release this October 4th. The film being a musical has received mixed reactions from fans but with the Joker and Harley Quinn being at the center of this film, it’s the most suitable concept. 

Joker: Folie à Deux’s Being a Musical Fit the Characteristics of Joker and Harley Quinn

Sneak peek of Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn in 'Joker: Folie à Deux'

The duo of Joker and Harley Quinn in DC comics and other media has always been a match derived from manipulation and delusion. Joker showed how society transformed a man for the worse, creating a monster in Gotham and garnering a following of people like him. One of those people might be Harleen Quinzel who Joker might manipulate into loving him so he could not feel alone or just as a running gag. Either works because the sequel could determine if he still has some humanity left in him, is actually in love with Harleen, or is completely lost to his Joker persona using her as a means to an end.

Harleen, who could be the Joker’s puppet, would be creating this perfect fantasy world where she has fallen madly in love with the Joker. This delusion would spark the “musical” side of the couple as they go on nefarious adventures causing mayhem and chaos. Comic book enthusiasts have known Harley to tolerate Joker’s manipulation and abusive behavior. Until recently, she sought her way into DC’s line of anti-heroes without the Joker beside her. This film has Harley succumb to Joker’s mistreatment of her for a while, but as Joker did before, she might find her way through Gotham after enduring his maltreatment. 

Could the Joker Be Manipulating Harley Quinn Into Thinking She Is in a Musical or the Other Way Around?

Joker 2' Trailer: Lady Gaga, Joaquin Phoenix Star in 'Joker ...

While Harley Quinn might be creating the hallucination that she is in a romantic musical where she falls in love with the Joker, there is also the possibility that he could be making that deceiving love story. The Joker character has always been known to use people until he does not need them anymore, or simply as a way to tell a sickening joke. However, this isn’t the comic book universe, instead, an original take on the Joker character, and now Harley Quinn. Arthur Fleck was someone who was easily manipulated and taken advantage of. Some made a mockery of him. 

While the Joker taking advantage of Harley is the most likely scenario, there is a chance that she could take advantage of him. Set photos and the trailer for the film show scenes where Harley is inspired by Arthur’s acts as the Joker and might encourage him to stay as the Joker persona, who he might’ve not fully embraced yet as the trailer shows him being chased by what looks like himself. While there’s little to no information on the story, plot, and characters of Joker: Folie à Deux, the charm of these characters is their unpredictability. It’s what makes them complex and exciting to see whether that be in the written word or the silver screen. 

Nathan Gonzalez
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