Lady Gaga's Harley Quinn Role Doubles Down On A Joker Criticism – Screen Rant

Lady Gaga plays Harley Quinn in Joker: Folie à Deux, an exciting casting in a sequel that doubles down on one of Joker’s biggest criticisms.
Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn role in Joker: Folie à Deux is set to continue Joker (2019)’s unique – and controversial – approach to Batman’s story. A likely but still surprising sequel, Joker: Folie à Deux has the difficult mission of continuing a story that worked perfectly as a self-contained movie. The addition of Harley Quinn, played by Lady Gaga, and the prospect of it being a musical can help Joker 2 on that mission.
Not much is known about Harley Quinn’s role in Joker: Folie à Deux, although the Joker sequel will most likely return to Arkham. Given how differently Joker approached its titular character story – the Joker was never called Arthur Fleck in the comics, for example – Joker 2’s Harley Quinn is expected to be a lot different from other adaptations. Unlike Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, which existed in a larger DC Universe, Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn will be part of a self-contained story.
Related: Joker: Folie À Deux – Release Date, Cast & Everything We Know
Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn in Joker 2 means that the sequel continues the first film’s approach of telling the Joker’s story without incorporating Batman. Considering that Bruce Wayne was just a kid during the events of Joker and that Joker 2 does not seem to involve any significant time jump, Lady Gaga’s Harley Quin will be brought up into a world where Batman still does not exist. How to tell a Joker story without Batman was the first film’s biggest challenge, as the Joker is usually written as the antithesis of what Batman represents. In terms of Batman lore alone, having Harley Quinn exist before Batman does not quite work.
The Joker movie, however, went for a completely different approach compared to the comics. Even though all previous Joker actors had added their own spin to the characters – Heath Ledger’s Joker still influences other adaptations and even the comics to this day – the Joker film mostly ignored any DC connections and told an original story based on the classic Batman villain. Had it not been for the Thomas Wayne storyline and the brief Bruce Wayne appearance, Joker would not have had any Batman connections at all. Now, Joker: Folie à Deux is set to tell Harley Quinn’s origin story in a similar way.
Harley Quinn and the Joker are major parts of Batman’s mythos, and it is not easy to tell their stories without the Dark Knight. In fact, it is difficult to remove any Batman villain from Bruce Wayne’s story, as they are usually written to be the opposite of Batman in many ways. Such an approach defined the Dark Knight trilogy, for example, in which each Batman villain mirrored Bruce Wayne on some level. Another example is the Gotham TV show, a Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon origin story, which struggled with having to adapt Batman villains before Batman even existed. Still, Joker’s unique take on Gotham City’s mythos worked.
In addition to the record-breaking box office performance – Joker is the highest-grossing R-Rated movie of all time and the only R-Rated film to make more than a billion dollars at the box office – Joker also won two Oscars in a strong awards run. Following the first film’s success, adding Harley Quinn in Joker: Folie à Deux regardless of Batman lore accuracy should not be a problem. Joker’s story worked and presented a character study only inspired by the iconic comic book villain. Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn can achieve something similar, especially now that audiences are used to the concept of a Joker without Batman.

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