‘Joker 2: Folie à Deux’ might be the most anticipated movie of 2024. The direct sequel to the 2019 mega-hit ‘Joker’ will star Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, aka the Joker once again, paired with Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. While the plot hasn’t been revealed, another major Batman villain has been teased to appear in the movie. That made fans wonder, will Batman be in ‘Joker 2’ as well?
Here is everything we know about ‘Joker 2’ and Batman’s potential appearance in the film.
What is ‘Joker 2’ going to be about?
The exact plot points – or any particular plot points, for that matter – of ‘Joker 2’ have not yet been disclosed. However, we do know several details about the film already; some were officially disclosed and revealed, and others we managed to pick up on from set photos, interviews, etc.
First of all, we know that the film is a direct sequel to the 2019 Oscar-winning hit. Only this time, Arthur Fleck’s Clown Prince of Chaos will be joined by his biggest love interest from the comics – Harley Quinn. Speculations started when the official title of the film was revealed to be ‘Joker: Folie à Deux,’ and confirmation about Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn came soon after.
We know that we’ll get to see – at least briefly – Arthur Fleck in Arkham Asylum, as that’s where the first film left off and where the Joker canonically met Harley Quinn. Also, a well-known young actor has been confirmed for the film in the role of an Arkham Asylum inmate who befriends and potentially helps Arthur – more on that in a moment, though.
I reckon that the inmate and Harley will help Arthur escape Arkham. However, we have no idea how long after the events of the first film ‘Joker 2’ takes place. Seeing what an unreliable narrator Arthur Fleck is, it might be that the entire first film – or at least some parts – was a fabrication of his mind while he was in Arkham.
For all we know, he might’ve been there for a while already, and the movie we saw is actually a younger Arthur – but he narrated the story as if he was older, the same age he was when we saw him in Arkham at the end of the film. I’ll elaborate on why I think this could be important, so bear with me.
Finally, a set photo where we see riots in Gotham City might have subtly revealed yet another awesome, famous character from Batman’s Rogue Gallery that could appear in the film. A banner that says ‘Harvey Dent is the clown’ can be seen, suggesting we may see Two-Face in the film, too.
Who will appear in ‘Joker 2’?
Naturally, seeing that we don’t know the plot of the movie yet, it is hard to determine who else will appear in the ‘Joker 2.’ However, some names have been confirmed in terms of actors and actresses – some with disclosed roles and some without.
We know that Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck, Zazie Beetz’s Sophie Dumond, and Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn are certainly making an appearance in the movie. Jacob Lofland will portray the Arkham Asylum inmate I mentioned earlier, while Bill Smitrovich will portray Judge Herman Rothwax.
We don’t know who’ll portray Harvey Dent, should he appear, but we do have several other big names involved with the film with undisclosed roles, like Catherine Keener, Brendan Gleeson, Steve Coogan, and Ken Leung. If you’re asking me, I’d bet that Harry Lawtey will portray a younger Harvey Dent – he was announced as a cast member, but his role is undisclosed yet.
Will Batman be in ‘Joker 2’?
In the first ‘Joker’ film, we see Arthur Fleck hate and blame Thomas Wayne for a lot of his struggles. In fact, the riots he inspired led to the killing of Thomas and his wife, leaving a very young Bruce Wayne all alone. Meaning, Bruce Wayne has already appeared in ‘Joker’ – but will he appear in ‘Joker 2’ as Batman?
Well, the reality is, the age difference between young Bruce and Arthur Fleck – at least what we’ve seen in ‘Joker’ – is too big for Fleck to still be an active criminal when Bruce gets old enough to be the Caped Crusader. By the time Bruce Wayne could realistically become Batman, Arthur Fleck would be quite an old man – way older than what we saw in the teasers for ‘Joker 2.’
That all leads us to believe that there is no way that Batman could be in ‘Joker 2’ in any capacity – but is that really true? After all, Batman’s rogue gallery keeps growing and popping up in the ‘Joker’ universe. We now have Two-Face, the Joker, and Harley Quinn all appear in the same movie. Can Todd Phillips really keep ignoring Batman as Gotham’s vigilante?
We already know that Arthur Fleck is an unreliable narrator from what we saw in the first film. I mean, his entire relationship with Sophie was fabricated in his mind – and we saw him talking about the events of the movie in Arkham Asylum.
So, what if Arthur talked about the story as if it happened recently when he is already a middle-aged man we saw in the film, the Asylum, and trailers and set photos for ‘Joker 2’ when it actually happened way back in the past when he was quite a bit younger?
That way, the timeline for Batman to appear in ‘Joker 2’ would work. If he was just a kid when Arthur was a young man, killing the talk show host and causing riots in Gotham, then he could just as well be old enough in ‘Joker 2’ to be Batman, right in time when Arthur Fleck is in his, let’s say, late forties to early fifties?
I’m not saying this will happen in the film – but I am saying that, as far as Arthur goes as an unreliable narrator, this could very well happen, and is probably the only realistic way that we could get Batman in ‘Joker 2.’ Well, at least Bruce Wayne’s Batman.
Are ‘The Batman’ and ‘Joker’ in the same universe?
Lastly, I wanted to clear one other thing out of the way. Seeing that Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’ and Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’ are both outside of the main DCU, and both are getting sequels soon, fans started speculating about the two being in the same universe. That, unfortunately, is not true, and the projects have nothing to do with each other, except for both being based on DC Comics.
In ‘The Batman’ universe, we’ve already seen their version of the Joker – ever so shortly, that is, but still. It was Barry Keoghan’s deranged, disfigured Joker we’ve seen behind the glass in Arkham Asylum. It was confirmed to be the Joker – especially after Barry’s recent interview with GQ where he talked about the difficulties of putting on the entire mask, which took about six hours.
The truth of the matter is – the films belong to totally separate universes, and won’t have any connection in terms of plots, characters, or the main DCU helmed by Peter Safran and James Gunn.
If Batman does appear in ‘Joker 2,’ it will be neither Ben Affleck nor Robert Pattinson. It would be a third actor portraying the Caped Crusader, which then presents problems for fans on their own, but I reckon that is a topic for another day.
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