How A Musical Sequel To “Joker” Might Actually Work
According to the Hollywood Reporter Lady Gaga is reportedly in talks to play Harley Quinn in a sequel to the Joaquin Phoenix movie “Joker”.
If that news just causes you to comically spit out your coffee, don’t take another sip yet. This movie is also reportedly going to be a musical.
Checking my calendar, I can verify that today is not April 1st so it doesn’t look like this is a prank. Although, it would be a great place for a Gaga parody called “Joker Face”.
“Joker” won a richly-deserved Oscar for Phoenix AND it raked in over a billion at the box office. I assumed it was going to be a stand-alone movie. I really couldn’t see the story of pathetic loser Arthur Fleck getting a sequel, much less a MUSICAL. “Joker” wasn’t a superhero movie. It was a character study, an homage of sorts to Scorsese, equal parts “Taxi Driver” and “The King of Comedy”.
Here’s how I think the angle could actually work, though.
It’s a few years after the events of the first movie. Arthur is either in prison for killing Robert De Niro and all those other people…, or he’s in a mental ward because he IMAGINED he did.
Remember, we find out that much of what “happened” was just in Arthur’s imagination. He didn’t really have a relationship with the beautiful single mother down the hall, he just imagined it. Did he really shoot Murray Franklin on national television? Who knows?
It doesn’t matter for this sequel to work. Arthur is incarcerated. He imagines that he falls in love with the prison psychiatrist. This is where Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn enters the story. In his diseased mind, Arthur imagines their courtship as a big-budget Hollywood musical.
Again, “Joker” isn’t a movie about superheroes. Arthur even says it: his life isn’t a comedy, it’s a tragedy. Presumably, it’s not a musical either.