TV & Movies

The Joker 2 Director Reveals Why He Cast Lady Gaga As Harley Quinn

His decision was partly inspired by her performance in A Star Is Born.

Lady Gaga in 'Joker: Folie à Deux'
Warner Bros.

Todd Philips, the director of Joker: Folie à Deux, recently revealed why he tapped Lady Gaga for the role of Harley Quinn.

Speaking at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on April 9, he recalled the film’s early casting, sharing that he wanted Gaga to be in the role “because she’s magic.”

“I was a producer on A Star Is Born,” continued Philips, who directed 2019’s Joker. “That was the first time I really met her and got to watch her work. As we were writing this script, Scott [Silver], who I wrote it with, kept going back to her.”

The sequel, which arrives in theaters on Oct. 4, stars Joaquin Phoenix as the titular villain opposite Gaga (real name Stefani Germanotta), who portrays his onscreen love interest, Harley Quinn. At CinemaCon, Philips debuted the first trailer of the much-anticipated musical.

The Joker 2 Trailer

The trailer begins with Joker and Harley inside Arkham Asylum. “Let’s get out of here,” Gaga’s character says, before the pair escape the facility and begin a chaotic transformation into their clown-faced alter egos.

Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker: Folie à Deux.Warner Bros. / 'Joker: Folie à Deux'

Subsequent clips show the couple dancing on a rooftop, bonding over song and dance. A cover of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” plays. Then they’re walking the stairs of a courthouse past a crowd of supposed protestors, hosting a TV variety show titled Joker & Harley, and running through the streets of Gotham City.

Many fans, including Gaga’s Little Monsters fandom, were quick to comment on the two-minute teaser. Writing on X (formerly Twitter), one user said they were ready for Gaga’s “humanized version of Harley Quinn,” while another declared her performance “phenomenal.”

“Whoever thought of casting Lady Gaga in a psychological thriller x musical was a genius!” another fan commented. “Joker 2 is literally the movie she was born to star in. Every step in the trajectory of her career has led to this moment.”