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Joker: Folie à Deux supposedly isn't a musical, but its promotional images say otherwise

We're getting mixed signals here.

Joker: Folie à Deux
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

While most of the Joker: Folie à Deux images that've been released so far strongly suggest it's a musical of sorts, its cinematographer is now denying those claims.

Everyone knows the DCEU (now rebooted as simply DCU) is taking a nap after a string of box office flops and creative chaos that lasted nearly a decade. With Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad writer-director James Gunn now at the helm, DC Studios is trying to get the shared universe approach right for realsies, starting with Superman: Legacy in 2025.

Before that, however, we're getting an 'Elseworlds' movie in the shape of the sequel to 2019's Joker, which turned out to be a massive hit.

Joker: Folie à Deux, directed and co-written by Todd Phillips once again, made most moviegoers' ears perk up when it was announced that Lady Gaga would star in the sequel alongside Joaquin Phoenix as Harleen Quinzel, AKA Harley Quinn. That's probably a good way to secure a good chunk of box office earnings, especially after her impressive performance in A Star Is Born.

Phillips' teases during filming and while briefly chatting about the movie have suggested that it's very much a musical, an idea which is only strengthened by Lady Gaga's presence. Now, he's shared a new set of images on Instagram to celebrate Valentine's Day and tease that the marketing push may be starting sooner rather than later (the movie opens on October 4, 2024). Check them out below:

See? That does look like a musical through and through. Director of photography Lawrence Sher, however, seems to disagree. During an online masterclass (via Dark Horizons), he said the following: "It's got some music. It’s not a musical per se, but it’s like... it just has music in it, that’s all. Music is a part of the movie and the characters, but I don’t know if it’s a musical. But yes, there is music." He doesn't sound very convinced.

The main takeaway here appears to be that music is a central part of the movie, which should be more than enough to call it musical, since, you know, musicals don't have to follow strict rules nor have their characters dancing and singing every couple of minutes.

There are different ways to strike that balance, and this whole conversation feels like it's going nowhere until we actually see the movie in movement. All the material released so far does imply it's a direct homage to classic musicals though, so we're going with our gut feeling for now.

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