‘Joker 2’ Musical Details Revealed: At Least 15 Cover Songs, Original Tracks May Be Added (EXCLUSIVE)

The Joker and Harley Quinn are set to serenade audiences in “Joker: Folie à Deux,” but if, and how many original songs will be included in the film, is a mystery.

Insiders privy to filming and early versions of Todd Phillips’ eagerly awaited sequel to “Joker” tell Variety the movie leans heavily towards being “mostly a jukebox musical,” as it integrates at least 15 reinterpretations of “very well-known” songs. One is said to be “That’s Entertainment” from the 1953 musical “The Band Wagon,” famously associated with Judy Garland. However, there is a door open for an original song (or two) to be added to the final version. Details regarding who would pen the tracks, or sing the numbers are unknown. We do know, according to sources, Hildur Guðnadóttir, the Oscar-winning composer of the first “Joker” film, is said to “infuse her distinctive, haunting [music] cues” into each number. Warner Bros declined to comment.

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Jukebox musicals, known for featuring popular songs, often achieve box office success. Examples include “Mamma Mia!” and “Moulin Rouge!,” the latter receiving eight Oscar nominations. “Joker 2” is expected to break the mold of traditional musicals.

Specific details about the plot of “Folie à Deux” have not been officially confirmed, but the film is described as a drama with elements taking place in and around Arkham Asylum. Alongside Phoenix and Gaga, the cast includes Emmy nominee Zazie Beetz (“Atlanta”), as well as Oscar nominees Catherine Keener (“Being John Malkovich”) and Brendan Gleeson (“The Banshees of Inisherin”). Phillips collaborated on the screenplay with Scott Silver.

Variety reported that the budget for the sequel has neared $200 million, a significant jump from the $60 million tag of the original film. The sequel is among Warner Bros’ most anticipated releases this year, following the success of “Dune: Part Two” from director Denis Villenueve. The studio’s slate also includes George Miller’s “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (which will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival), Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” and the animated “The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim.”

The first “Joker” movie, a Golden Lion winner at the Venice International Film Festival, grossed over $1 billion worldwide and led the Oscars with 11 nominations. Early discussions are under way for a possible premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival, sources say.

Phoenix clinched the best actor award for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill party clown who makes his transformation into the famed DC villain. Gaga, a 13-time Grammy winner, has made a successful transition to Hollywood, evident in her Oscar win for co-writing the original song “Shallow” (alongside Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt and Anthony Rossomando) for Bradley Cooper’s critically acclaimed “A Star is Born” remake in 2018. Gaga was also nominated for best actress that year, making her one of only four individuals in history to receive acting and songwriting nominations simultaneously.

“Joker: Folie à Deux” is scheduled to hit theaters on Oct. 4.

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