‘Joker 2’ Reveals How It’s Connected to Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’

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Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) becoming the Joker again in the 'Joker 2' trailer

Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

The first trailer for Joker: Folie à Deux (2024) is finally here. The sequel to Joker (2019) reunites director Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/Joker and welcomes singer/songwriter/actress Lady Gaga as the Clown Princess of Gotham, Harley Quinn.

Since the film was announced two years ago, we’ve known it will be a musical of sorts. Now, rumor has it that it’s a “jukebox musical” similar to the likes of Mamma Mia! (2008) — though hardly comparable to the ABBA-inspired classic in any other way, of course.

The movie poster alone, whose tagline reads “The world is a stage,” suggests that the film will feature several musical numbers, whether they’re real or imaginary, or perhaps a mixture of both. Check it out below, per the official X/Twitter account (Joker Movie/@jokermovie):

The world is a stage. Trailer April 9. #JokerMovie

Related: Joker 2: The Entire Cast of Folie à Deux

Unsurprisingly, it looks like the film is also taking notes (no pun intended) from other DC movies, including Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), which stars Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jack Nicholson as Jack Napier/Joker.

By now, we’re sure there are already dozens of articles and videos online pointing out several references to other DC movies throughout the new trailer, but there’s one scene in particular that stands out above the rest.

Check out the official trailer for Folie à Deux below, per Warner Bros. Pictures:

Related: All 7 Live-Action Jokers Ranked From Worst to Best

Between 1:00 — 1:12, we see Arthur Fleck in full Joker attire engage in a rooftop dance in “the pale moonlight” with his clown princess, Harley Quinn. Sound familiar?

This is obviously a nod to the iconic line, “Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” from Tim Burton’s Batman. This line is spoken in variation in two separate scenes: the opening sequence in which a young Jack Napier (Hugo Blick) murders Bruce Wayne’s parents, and later in the film when Joker (Jack Nicholson) attacks Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) in Wayne Manor. The scene in the new Joker trailer is also visually reminiscent of the uncomfortable Joker/Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) rooftop dance during Batman‘s third act. So, clearly, the oddly magical Arthur Fleck/Harley Quinn embrace is no coincidence.

Batman (Michael Keaton) holding The Joker (Jack Nicholson) by the collar on a rooftop
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Related: 7 Actresses Who Could Play the Female Joker

Joker was a huge hit with audiences and critics and grossed over $1 billion at the global box office against an estimated budget of $55M — $70M. The sequel has a bigger budget that’s said to be around $200 million.

Joker: Folie à Deux stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/Joker, Lady Gaga as Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn, Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond, and Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener, Jacob Lofland, Steve Coogan, Ken Leung, and Harry Lawtey in undisclosed roles.

The film will be released in movie theaters on October 4, 2024.

Do you think Folie à Deux will feature even more references to Batman (1989)? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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