‘Joker: Folie a Deux’ – new title for Joker 2 leads to rampant fan speculation

Joker: Folie a Deux is the official working title for the sequel to 2019’s Joker. The meaning behind the title has sparked a number of interesting theories and rumours regarding the film’s themes and characters.

Joker: Folie a Deux is the official title of the follow-up to Todd Phillips’ iconoclastic hit Joker. Phillips shared a screenshot on his Instagram of what appears to be the finished script for the sequel.

With that in mind, there isn’t any concrete information on Joker 2 other than that Joker: Folie a Deux is the title, and that Joaquin Phoenix will return as Arthur Fleck. Although that hasn’t stopped fans from digging into the meaning of the title.

joker 2
Image: Joker / Warner Bros. Films

Folie a Deux translates to “folly of two“,  or the more intriguing “madness shared by two“. It is a relatively common phrase in French, and is still used by some psychologists and academics to refer to the conditions ‘shared psychotic disorder’ and ‘induced delusional disorder’.

However, in the context of a Joker film the phrase suggests two specific narrative possibilities. The Joker of the Batman comics and graphic novels is most associated with two characters: Batman and Harley Quinn.


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It isn’t too much of a stretch to think the title Joker: Folie a Deux refers to one of these characters, and the relationship they share with Arthur Fleck.

Batman and the Joker are caught in a battle that feels almost mythical tone; a common theme being that they need each other to make sense of the world and themselves. In a sense, the two characters’ meaning and purpose is dependent on the other existing. Which certainly sounds an awful lot like a shared delusion.

Fans have also been quick to point out that Joker: Folie a Deux may be specifically referencing a romantic relationship between the Arthur Fleck character and Harley Quinn (or at least a character with a similar role). Because what’s love if it isn’t ‘madness shared by two‘, right?

We’ll have to wait to see which angle Joker: Folie a Deux ultimately takes, but either way the inclusion of such a major character in Todd Phillips’ Joker universe is sure to excite fans.