Harley Quinn Movie in Joker 2 Actually Be Canceled for WB
Joke 2’s announcement came with the reveal of the film’s working title, and it hints at an old DCEU Harley Quinn movie idea being reused. Joker 2 is happening at Warner Bros. with director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix set to return, and the film’s working title suggests that it could pay off a canceled Harley Quinn movie idea. Less than two years after Suicide Squad presented the first live-action Joker since The Dark Knight’s Heath Ledger, Warner Bros. greenlit what sounded like a risky project: a standalone, Elseworlds Joker movie with almost no connections to other DC characters and stories. To the surprise of many, a solo Joker movie worked to the point it crossed the billion-dollar mark at the box office, which naturally called for a sequel. After years of rumors and speculation, during which neither Todd Phillips nor Joaquin Phoenix ever said no to a sequel, Joker 2 was finally confirmed through the director’s Instagram. The film does not yet have a release date, and Joaquin Phoenix is so far the only confirmed name in the cast. While nothing has been said about the story, Phillips did reveal the working title for Joker 2, Joker: Folie à Deux.
Folie à Deux translates from French to English as madness of two, which heavily implies that Joker 2 will feature a co-protagonist of some sort. Given how the first Joker ended with Arthur becoming a symbol to the people of Gotham, it is natural that Joker 2 involves a follower, a fan, or even a copycat of the Joker – all of which could describe Harley Quinn. Dr. Harleen Quinzel, who in the DC lore turns into Harley Quinn while trying to treat the Joker, would fit perfectly into the direction that the Joker sequel seems to be heading, even if it means a completely new take on the character. Should Joker 2 really feature Harley Quinn either following or opposing Arthur, then the film would be secretly reviving a canceled DCEU movie idea involving Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Jared Leto’s Joker.
WB’s Canceled Harley Quinn Movies – Despite the disastrous critical reception, Suicide Squad was a commercial success, and thus spinoffs involving its most popular characters were discussed right away. Initially, there were plans for a David Ayer Gotham City Sirens movie led by Margot Robbie that would feature Catwoman and Poison Ivy as well as Black Mask as the villain – much of what ended up being reused in the Birds of Prey film. In addition, there was also a Harley Quinn vs. The Joker movie starring Margot Robbie and Jared Leto in the works, with Glenn Ficarra and John Requa set to write and direct. As strange as it sounds, the movie would have opened with Harley kidnapping Dr. Phil, and it would have gone on to explore the problematic relationship between Joker and Harley Quinn. The entire premise of the Harley Quinn vs. The Joker movie always seemed like a hard sell, and it ended up never being made.
Joker 2’S Title Could Hint At A New Harley Quinn – Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was one of the Suicide Squad’s redeemable qualities, and both the character and the actress remained in the DCEU. Robbie played Harley Quinn again in 2020’s Birds of Prey, a movie that saw Harley working with the vigilantes Huntress and Black Canary to take on Black Mask, followed by a major role in 2021’s The Suicide Squad. While no other Harley Quinn DCEU project has been announced, it is likely that Robbie will continue to play the character in the foreseeable future. That said, should Joker 2 feature Harley Quinn as the Folie à Deux title meaning suggests, then there will be two simultaneous live-action versions of the character: one in the DCEU and one in the Joker sequel. Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker universe has no connections with the DCEU, and thus no actors from the latter should be expected to reprise their roles in the former.
Harley Quinn In Phoenix’s Joker 2? Joker purposely tried to steer away from major comic book references and plotlines in order to tell the most human Joker story possible, it may seem strange for Joker 2 to feature Harley Quinn, especially given how the Joker persona itself only came to be at the end of the first movie. However, Todd Phillips’ Joker told what could be considered a self-contained story, to the point that the Joker 2 announcement took many by surprise. The main draw of Joker, and one of the reasons why it became one of the most successful DC films in history, was to give an iconic superhero-related character like the Joker a completely different interpretation from what audiences had seen in other iterations – something that is extremely hard to replicate in a sequel.
Joker was already a huge financial risk, which explains why the studio was initially reluctant in moving forward with the Todd Phillips film. Likewise, a Joker 2 would naturally risk falling flat compared to the first one, as it often happens with blockbuster sequels. That is why having an unexpected new element such as Harley Quinn could benefit the sequel and why it is not too soon for the character to appear in the world created by Todd Phillips. Joaquin Phoenix delivered an Oscar-winning performance as the Joker in the first film and already showed the audiences all of the facets and nuances of the character, meaning that Joker 2 has to feature a different dynamic for it to work. Having Dr. Harleen Quinzel as Arthur Fleck’s psychiatrist and then becoming Harley Quinn, or any alternate spin on that already famous story between the two characters can be exactly what Joker 2 needs.