First Look: Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn in ‘Joker 2’

The internet has gone Gaga for Harley Quinn in “Joker: Folie à Deux.” 

As a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift, writer-director Todd Phillips released the first image of Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, in character as Harleen Quinzel, better known as Harley Quinn. The great DC character (easily in the top three of the entire canon, in this dork’s opinion) will likely play a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, where she falls in love with “Mr. J.”, Joaquin Phoenix returning to his Oscar-winning role as Arthur Fleck (better known as Joker).

Gaga’s Harley, based on this image, doesn’t have any of the white makeup or domino mask, but has her hair pulled back in a forceful manner and has QUITE an extreme puss on her face. She’s staring right into Fleck’s eyes who, in harsh lighting, kinda looks like Robin Williams a little, doesn’t he?

As is the case with anything related to comic books, there are plenty of different versions of Harley. On screen, Margot Robbie has played her in “Suicide Squad,” “The Suicide Squad,” and “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).” Currently on HBO Max, an extremely amped-up workplace comedy version of the character is voiced by Kaley Cuoco. Should you ever be interested in reading a Harley comic, anything written by the husband and wife team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner is the way to dive in. 

“Folie à Deux” is Gaga’s first film role since 2021’s “House of Gucci,” in which she starred, coincidentally enough, with another Joker, Jared Leto. That film, and her performance, proved polarizing, but the wise and righteous New York Film Critics Circle awarded her with the Best Actress prize last year. 

When Gaga posted the image to Twitter, among the many responding with variations of “slay, Queen!” were Vera Drew, the writer-director-star of “The People’s Joker,” an underground, low-budget indie that debuted at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival and currently sits in limbo due to Warner Bros. Discovery’s enforcement of copyright laws. Drew has offered Gaga a link to watch the movie at her leisure. 

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