Joker 2, the Madness in Two is official: was there really a need?

The long-awaited announcement has finally arrived: Joker 2 will be made, it will be directed by Todd Phillips and will see Joaquin Phoenix as the protagonist, in the role of an Arthur Fleck now completely transformed into the Joker. The Joker sequel has made fans dream and has been at the center of many rumors in recent months: the 2019 film, on the other hand, has been an almost absolute hit with both critics and audiences, as you can read in our Joker review. , while now there was a sequel asked out loud by fans. After the euphoria after the announcement, however, it’s time to ask ourselves if a Joker sequel was really needed: how can a production close without asking big questions to the audience? start a franchise with sequels and maybe some spin-offs?

An “intermediate” Joker.

Indeed, Joker is not one superhero movie in the “classical” sense. of the term: the film of Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix is, in fact, very far from the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and those of the DCEU.

It is a diversity clearly sought and desired by the director and producers, who tried to create a cinecomic more committed to Joker and able, by admission of the same director, to have a social role, reaching “investigate the reasons for a possible revolution”. This means not only a more adult tone and themes compared to the productions of the House of Ideas and Distinct Competition, but also a structurally innovative approach to the plot, the characters and the whole world in which the film is set. : let’s get started. of this, finally, because in this sense we already know that Joker is disconnected from the rest of the DCEU, and that is not part of the world of The Batman. Also, in The Batman we saw Barry Keoghan’s Joker, so the odds of an encounter between Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker and his nemesis, in any of their many forms on the big screen, seem to be nil.

To reinforce this consideration there is also the fact that Bruce Wayne is still a child in the Joker universe: In the final scene of the 2019 film, in fact, we witness the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne at the hands of a Fleck fan.

Bruce is saved, this is true, but the scene reveals that he is still little more than a child, so one of his the transformation into Batman seems unlikely, obviously assuming that Joker 2 is not established a few years after its predecessor. Almost impossible is a “leap” between dimensions and timelines in the time travel line confirmed in The Flash, which would completely distort the concept of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, whose strength is based precisely on realism and proximity. to credible world, devoid of fantasy or science fiction drift like the ones that have characterized the rest of the superhero genre so far. The “knot” about Batman is certainly one of the most problematic to solve, as without the Gotham Croatian it will be difficult to investigate and give depth to the Joker characterwhose characterization is intimately linked by contrast with the Dark Knight.

Is Harley Quinn coming?

Of course, a “Joker-verse” where Batman is missing is not impossible, as long as you slowly move away from the road represented by the comics.

This doesn’t seem to be a problem for Todd Phillips, also because even the first episode of the Gotham Clown series was a completely unrelated adaptation of DC comics. However, removing from this universe any typical graft of science fiction and fantasy superhero movie in favor of greater realism, the risk is to have to say goodbye to other iconic characters from the Batman world, such as The Penguin (who will enjoy an independent television series with Colin Farrell), Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, The Scarecrow, the Riddler and many more. Likewise, the Arthur Fleck’s parable seems to be over at the end of Joker, with few narrative explanations for a sequel: the risk of Joker 2 becoming a fake sequel and mostly dictated by market logic seems, therefore, concrete.

If there’s one character that should (almost) appear in the movie, it’s this one Harleen Frances Quinzel, better known as Harley Quinn. The official title of the Joker sequel, in fact, will be “Joker 2: Folie à Deux”, translated into Italian as “Joker 2: Follie a Due”: in short, the possibilities of a tag team between Joker and his historical partner seem to be concrete.

As mentioned with regard to Robert Pattinson’s Batman, however, we can still expect that Joker’s Harley Quinn won’t be Margot Robbie, but another actress, while Todd Phillips’ film could devote much of its plot to Arthur Fleck’s Quinzel’s “Corruption,” which could also represent a point of continuity with DC comics. Another possibility is that Robin will also be in Joker 2, but in this case a completely new narrative justification will be needed for the inclusion of Boy Wonder, which should debuts on “Joker-Verse” in front of his mentorBatman himself.

Madness for Two

Limiting ourselves to the character of Harley Quinn, whose presence in Joker 2 now seems almost certain, we have to wonder how many fans will be willing to do so. come to relive a story already seen in various media, including film (both in live action than in animation), video games and of course comics.

In this sense, except for huge narrative distortions, the story of Joker 2: Folie à Deux could be much less captivating than that of its predecessor, causing the entire film to lose control of the audience. The possibility that Harley Quinn is completely reinvented as happened with Joker is obviously specific, but we must see how the plot of the film will evolve: here too the possibility of displeasing both fans of the comic and the film is just around the corner. Then you have to understand how Quinzel will be introduced to the world of Joker: at the end of the 2019 movie, in fact, Gotham was a burning city, while in the comics the meeting of Joker and Quinzel takes place between the walls of the Arkham asylum, where the clown is locked. In other words, the film will have to diegetically justify Fleck’s imprisonment inAsylumor completely override the parameters of thefalling in love with the two supercriminals.

What is certain, however, is that the title Folie à Deux is no accidentbut in fact it is the result of a deliberate choice that, in addition to winking at the character of Harley Quinn, refers to a psyche disorder known as shared psychosis. Because of this condition, certain beliefs about delusional disorder are “transferred” from one patient to another through a very close personal relationship, such as that of a friend, family member, or lover.

What is especially interesting in this case is that in each Folie à Deux there are a dominant individual and an “accepting” individual.or a person who transmits the psychiatric condition and who receives it: translated into the relationship between Joker and Harley Quinn, if Phillips and Phoenix decide to follow the path set by Joker and dare with a socially engaged film, the relationship between two protagonists could be one toxic and unhealthy romantic relationshipfar from the idealization of “criminal” love between the two bandit we have seen in recent years.

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