Quick Links

Why Joker 2 Needs to Look at Harley Quinn’s Best Story What Fans Want Out of the Next Joker Sequel What Fans Can Expect from Joker: Folie à Deux


Joker: Folie à Deux is coming soon and plans to include a new iteration of Harley Quinn.
This is both a great chance to see a new take of htecharacter but also an opportunity to explore some of her best stories.
Joker: Folie à Deux could set a cinematic Haryley Quinn off on a new footing and law the groundwork for future iterations of the anti-villain.

As Joker: Folie à Deux returns for an encore and Harley Quinn slides back into the spotlight, it comes with expectations that fans want to see on the silver screen. In Batman’s nearly 90-year history, few characters have made such an impact or stole the show more than the beloved Harley Quinn. Having a divisive career in cinema and a bright future ahead, Harley Quinn has proven to be the queen of comebacks, usually able to somersault away and reinvent herself to grand applause. Joker: Folie à Deux could be the big-screen rebirth the rogue jester needs, but it requires reminding the world why the fans fell in love with her in the first place.

First appearing in 1992 as part of Batman: The Animated Series, Harleen Quinzel (or Harley Quinn as she’s better known) entertained audiences as one of the Joker’s minions. Becoming a fan favorite and displaying enough personality to stand out on her own, she’d be one of many characters who lept into the DC Comics canon, joining the likes of the Condiment King, Terry McGinnis, and Renee Montoya. Having appeared in countless adaptations of the Batman mythos, there have been innumerable takes on the character, and always a place for Harley Quinn, whether by the Joker’s side or out doing her own thing. With the wildly popular Harley Quinn: The Animated Series approaching its fifth season and acclaimed artist Lady Gaga set to play the character in the upcoming Joker: Folie à Deux, there’s no stopping Quinn as she takes Tinseltown by storm (and with an oversized mallet).

Why Joker 2 Needs to Look at Harley Quinn’s Best Story

The character of Harley Quinn was inspired by late Days of Our Lives star Arleen Sorkin, who voiced the character.


Peacemaker and Blue Beetle May be More Crucial To The DCU Than Superman

With Peacemaker and Blue Beetle confirmed to join the DCU in the near future, could James Gunn be planning something special for the duo?

A sequel to 2019’s Joker, Joker: Folie à Deux continues to reimagine the origins of Batman’s greatest villains, this time bringing the eccentric Harley Quinn into the act and along for the ride. From early impressions, descriptions, and trailers, the Hollywood musical revealed that, like Joker, the sequel is a different take on an origin story. While not necessarily a new idea, and one that certainly worked for the Clown Prince of Crime, there’s a lot that Harley Quinn’s origin story did right and what fans want to see translate to her reimagining. There’s a reason why Harley continues to shine, going beyond her tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and in-your-face attitude. Harley Quinn’s journey was a deep and relatable one; if there’s something Joker: Folie à Deux has to nail, it’s the emotional highs of “Mad Love.”

After getting her big break in Batman: The Animated Series, the comic The Batman Adventures: Mad Love revealed the backstory of Harley Quinn and the story behind her relationship with the Joker. Unlike Joker: Folie à Deux, which reimagines Harley as an Arkham State Hospital patient, her comic counterpart was portrayed as the Joker’s therapist. Manipulated during her sessions, Quinzel falls in love with the Joker, setting her on a path of chaos and harlequin romance. The comic explored Harley’s unhealthy codependency and toxic relationship with the Joker, offering an emotional depth that brought the character to life in a new way. This backstory simultaneously established her origins while charting her evolution from Harleen Quinzel to Harley Quinn, making it a classic that defined her as an indelible part of Batman mythology.

While getting an adaptation for Batman: The Animated Series and nods to it in projects like 2016’s Suicide Squad, big-screen adaptations often failed to adapt Harley Quinn’s best story properly or, at the very least, to capture what made it endearing. As it’s likely Joker 2 will take inspiration from other Batman stories, fans want to see that tragic love story play out. One of the reasons Harley Quinn resonated with so many people is the relatable portrayal of how love’s illusions, blind passion, and unrealistic expectations for a happily-ever-after have led others into vulnerable and horrifying situations. With Joker’s surreal cinematography, it seems ideal for exploring those odd ideas of romance Harley has, how protagonist Arthur Fleck sees their romance, and perhaps neither one realizing just how toxic the relationship is until it’s time for the credits to roll. As a story, The Batman Adventures: Mad Love is the perfect guide to introducing Joker’s version of Harley Quinn, appeasing fans, and setting up the sequel everybody wants to see.

What Fans Want Out of the Next Joker Sequel

Harley Quinn would serve as the main antagonist in the TV series Birds of Prey, portrayed by Mia Sara.


The DCU Has A Chance to do Something that No Other Superhero Movie Has Done Before

The DCU is rising from the ashes of the DCEU and featuring a new kind of threat to Batman and Superman and other heroes is the perfect way to start.

While Joker never intended to spawn a sequel and reportedly the start of a new slate of experimental movies inspired by DC’s Black Label, Joker: Folie à Deux’s existence shows that plans have changed within director James Gunn’s DCU. With options for a third movie and plans for the DC Black films still viable in the DCU, a Harley Quinn-led spinoff has potential. Moreover, it’s what fans of Harley Quinn want to see and a way to reinvent her now that DC comic movies seek a new beginning.

Looking back at DC’s previous shared cinematic universe (the DCEU), it’s clear that numerous questionable creative choices were made. With varying quality and a confusing continuity, if there’s anything that the DCEU nailed, it’s Barbie star Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. Self-aware, over-the-top, and carving out her own path in life after the events of Suicide Squad, it stood out as the highlight of movies like Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). A more contemporary depiction of Harley, as seen in media like the well-received Harley Quinn: The Animated Series, provides Lady Gaga’s character with a clear direction to pursue after Joker: Folie à Deux and a way to adapt the character audiences love today.

The Joker series adopts a darker tone when compared to the campiness of Harley Quinn: The Animated Series and the DCEU. However, there are opportunities to blend elements from both for a compelling sequel. For the next film, the series could explore Harley as she attempts to move beyond her tumultuous relationship with Fleck with a journey that involves self-discovery, love, and figuring out what she wants out of life. Drawing inspiration from films like Natural Born Killers could infuse the narrative with surreal dark comedy as the media covers her escape. Alternatively, staying true to Hollywood’s classic genres, such as noir, gangster films, and romantic comedies, could introduce fan-favorite Poison Ivy as Harley’s partner-in-crime and potential love interest. Because while Harley’s misguided love for the Joker resonates with many broken hearts, it’s her life after leaving the Joker that offers audiences one of the most cathartic and empowering narratives in all of DC’s history.

What Fans Can Expect from Joker: Folie à Deux

While Harley Quinn remains the most popular, other noted Joker associates include Gaggy, Punchline, and Bruno.


The DCU Needs To Learn From the Monsterverse

Given the Monsterverse’s success in building a successful wider universe, James Gunn’s DC Universe can learn a lot from Legendary’s Monsterverse.

As Joker: Folie à Deux’s debut approaches, fans wonder what DC plans to do with Arthur Fleck’s new co-star. Joker: Folie à Deux could deliver something reminiscent of “Mad Love,” a portrayal more modern reflecting her time on the Suicide Squad, or just like Joker before it a new take on Harley Quinn. Regardless, there’s no denying the talent of its headliners (Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga) or the success of Joker. It’ll undoubtedly be a challenging film as Joker’s sequel pulls away from the traditional comic book fair audiences are used to from the Marvel and DC cinematic universes. However, it should offer a hopeful dose of optimism, not only to current fans of Harley Quinn but simultaneously to the new ones Joker: Folie à Deux hopes to attract. After all, although Joker is a tough act to follow, it also offers a platform for the kind of top-tier storytelling and acting that made the first movie a success.

Above all else, if there’s anything that fans of Harley Quinn want, it’s a fresh start in Hollywood. The DCEU was a long and strange journey with highs, lows, and lessons learned from them all from projects like the questionable Suicide Squad movie. If there’s something to look forward to, it’s a new beginning, not just for Harley Quinn and the Joker, but for DC cinema as it enters a new era. As a queen of second chances and reinventing herself, fans hope Harley Quinn will rise to the occasion and stand out as James Gunn’s new DCU takes flight.

“}]] Joker: Folie à Deux is bringing in a new take on Harley Quinn. But a new take also means a chance to explore classic storylines.  Read More