JOKER: FOLIE À DEUX Test-Screening Reactions Land

Some reactions to a recent test-screening of Todd Phillips’ Joker: Folie à Deux have been shared online, and it sounds like the filmmaker has pulled off a worthy sequel to Warner Bros.’ $1 billion-grossing original.

Though the version that screened is said to have “some editing and script issues that need to be resolved,” all of the reactions we’ve seen so far have been very positive.

This first round (via Joey Monda) keep things pretty vague, but are no less intriguing.

“The film is super bloody, chaotic, aggressive, surrealistic, but somehow true to its essence. Gaga and Joaquin are on the same level in performance.”

“The musical aspect is not presented in a conventional way. They sing, of course, but it works in a different pattern. Very risky, but f*cking genius.”

“Overall, the film seeks to balance itself to captivate both critics and the general public.”

We also have a more in-depth report (via JoBlo.com), and some may consider these details a bit more spoilery.

Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn is said to be “equal to Phoenix or even more central.” Arthur Fleck supposedly never refers to her as Harley, “but a nickname derived from it.” Both characters reportedly “perform songs as a duet, and some are just her singing. Songs are a mix of old and new.”

Also: “Famous characters appear in it. Some changes to lore since these movies are standalone from certain other DC franchises.”

This last part is very interesting. Can we expect some other familiar DC Comics characters to appear? We find it hard to imagine The Dark Knight himself showing up, but maybe some more of his villains from Arkham Asylum? We should have a better idea of what to expect after the first trailer, which is expected to hit next month.

While some fans are a little resistant to the idea of a follow-up to Phillips’ dark psychological thriller being a musical, others have embraced the concept. We’re still not sure exactly how these songs will be implemented into the story, but rumor has it that the narrative will be split between Harley and Fleck’s skewed perspectives, so there’s a chance the musical numbers will simply be part of the characters’ delusions (Fleck imagined his entire relationship with Sofie Dummond in the first film, after all).

Whatever form the songs take, we have heard that the soundtrack will be “heavily inspired” by classic Liza Minelli musicals such as Cabaret, New York, New York, and That’s Entertainment. This isn’t really too surprising, since Lady Gaga is a big Minelli fan.

We still don’t know if the pop megastar is actually writing the soundtrack, but we’d say there’s a decent chance she’ll pen at least one song for the movie.

In addition to Phoenix and Gaga, Joker 2 will see the return of Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond, along with new cast members Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener, Jacob Lofland and Harry Lawtey in undisclosed roles.

The Joker sequel won’t take place in the same world as the main DCU, and will be known as an “Elseworlds” project, along with Matt Reeves’ The Batman movies, J.J. Abrams’ Superman film, and Constantine 2 (if they happen).

Joker: Folie à deux is set to hit theaters on October 4, 2024.