Joaquin Phoenix returns as The Joker in haunting sequel first look

It’s been three years since the world saw Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker dancing on the staircase, but writer-director Todd Phillips has now revealed the clown is back in business.

Phoenix is set to return as the villain in the sequel to the 2019 film which came to a dramatic and gruesome end, though this time he will be joined by a new co-star, Lady Gaga.

After showing off her acting abilities in A Star Is Born and House Of Gucci, Gaga will take on the iconic role of Harley Quinn; a character typically depicted as the accomplice and lover of the Joker.

The pair are expected to meet at Arkham Asylum, potentially in keeping with existing plot lines about the couple in which Quinn meets the Joker while treating him.

Phoenix stars as the Clown Prince of Crime in Joker. Credit: Warner Bros.

Zazie Beetz, Brendan Gleeson and Catherine Keener are all also expected to appear in the sequel, which is set to be titled Joker: Folie À Deux, which translates to ‘Madness For Two’.

Details about the sequel have so far largely remained under wraps, but Phillips treated fans to a first-look at Phoenix back in character as he took to Instagram to mark the start of production on the film.

Phoenix will star alongside Lady Gaga in the sequel. Credit: Warner Bros.

He shared a snap of the actor looking thin and battered as he lay back on a chair, shirtless and with shaving foam covering his face.

He’s joined by an unidentified man keeping the Joker’s head still as he holds a razor to his neck, and Phillips captioned the image: “Day 1. Our boy. #joker.”

The image marks the first time we’ve seen Phoenix in character for the sequel, and adds to the small amount of knowledge fans have amassed so far.

Check it out here:

Phillips shared the image as production gets underway. Credit: @toddphillips/Instagram

One other thing we know about the sequel is that it’s set to be a musical; a revelation which has met with mixed reactions from fans who loved the intensity and violence of the first film, and found it hard to marry that genre with typically upbeat and colourful musicals.

However, an insider from the film assured Variety that while the musical sequences will be ‘complicated’, the music will be ‘more like A Star Is Born than In the Heights’, suggesting it will be incorporated in a more natural way than the actors simply bursting out into song.

Though the plot as a whole remains a mystery, Phillips’ first look has caused excited among fans, who responded to the image to say they ‘can’t wait’ to see the film.

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