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Dancing, music and mayhem: Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga in the teaser to Joker: Folie à Deux

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The night of April 9, Warner Bros. released the teaser trailer for Joker: Folie à Deux. 

Starring Joaquin Phoenix — who won an Oscar for playing the title character, aka Arthur Fleck, in the blockbuster 2019 original — the sequel also stars Lady Gaga as the Clown Prince of Crime’s eventual queen, Harley Quinn.

The trailer is set to a rendition of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David song “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” First we see Phoenix’s Fleck in prison, where he meets Gaga’s Harleen Quinzel, who is clearly an admirer.

“I’m nobody,” a bedraggled-looking Harleen tells him. “I haven’t done anything with my life like you have.”

We then see Joker in full makeup onstage, clutching a microphone, while Harleen and Fleck seem to watch from the audience. “Let’s get outta here,” she whispers to him. Suddenly, she’s in full glam, waltzing with Joker, intercut with footage of her wearing her normal clothes, waltzing with Fleck in traffic, oblivious to the chaos on the street around them.

Actor Steve Coogan, seemingly playing a prison counselor, asks Fleck, “Tell us, what’s changed, Arthur?”

“I’ll tell you what’s changed,” Fleck replies. “I’m not alone anymore.”

What follows is a montage of music and mayhem, including a striking shot of Fleck laughing maniacally while standing in the rain.

The clip closes with Harleen seated across from Fleck, a plastic prison barrier between them. She draws red lips on the barrier with lipstick and says, “I wanna see the real you.” He lines up his lips with the lipstick, until he looks like Joker — and then flashes an evil grin.

According to Variety, director Todd Phillips says the film isn’t exactly a musical, though it will feature song and dance, and music will be “an essential element.” The film arrives October 4.

 

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