Joaquin Phoenix dips Lady Gaga in haunting “Joker: Folie á Deux” poster: 'The world is a stage'

Phoenix returns as the Joker, while Gaga takes on the role of Harley Quinn in the sequel to the Oscar-winning 2019 blockbuster.

It seems that Joaquin Phoenix's Joker has met his wild match in Lady Gaga's Harley Quinn, as the villainous pair dance a haunting jig in the new Joker: Folie à Deux movie poster.

The first one-sheet teaser for the upcoming sequel to 2019's Oscar-winning DC blockbuster Joker dropped online Tuesday, one week ahead of the movie's planned trailer release on April 9.

"The world is a stage," the poster's tagline reads just above an image of Phoenix — holding a burning cigarette in his hand — dipping Gaga backwards as they dance under a bright spotlight.

<p>Warner Bros. Pictures</p> Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn in 'Joker: Folie à Deux' poster

Warner Bros. Pictures

Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn in 'Joker: Folie à Deux' poster

The image also shows smeared red lipstick over Gaga's face, indicating that she might've smooched it off the face of Phoenix's Joker.

Director Todd Phillips returned to direct the sequel to his Academy Award-winning hit, which sees the Joker navigating a relationship with Gaga as famed villainess (and reported Arkham Asylum psychiatrist) Harley Quinn. The film is reported to contain musical elements, as both Phoenix and Gaga were spotted filming outdoor scenes in early 2023 that involved song-and-dance routines.

In February, Phillips shared a series of images teasing the central couple's relationship, including a shot of them dancing on a Gotham City rooftop, with a fantastical sky — complete with toy-like buildings and a cartoonish moon — framing them from behind.

In 2023, cinematographer Lawrence Sher said that Gaga (born Stefani Germanotta) didn't at first connect with him on set, though he later learned it was because of her commitment to Method acting to get into the part.

<p>Gotham/GC Images; DC Comics/Warner Bros./Shutterstock</p> Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn in 'Joker: Folie à Deux'

Gotham/GC Images; DC Comics/Warner Bros./Shutterstock

Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn in 'Joker: Folie à Deux'

"The [assistant director] at one point said, 'Oh, you know, Stef would like if you just called her Lee on set', and I was like, 'Oh, 100 percent,' and… the next thing I said was something 'Lee,' and it was like everything changed," he told The Trenches podcast. "From that point on it was like our whole connection changed. I was like, all right, cool, that's all I need to know. That changed everything. Then we made the rest of the movie, and it was much more of connection."

The film follows the legacy of the first Joker film, which grossed over $1 billion at the global box office atop scoring a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars at the same ceremony Phoenix won Best Actor for his leading performance.

Joker: Folie à Deux releases Oct. 4 in theaters via Warner Bros. See Gaga and Phoenix in the new poster above.

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