ONE FROM THE HEART, Teri Garr, 1982. ©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

‘Joker: Folie à Deux’ Cinematographer Says Sequel Was Influenced By Coppola’s Musical Flop

One of the biggest question marks about the 2024 film calendar is “Joker: Folie à Deux.” For the sequel to his Oscar-winning DC villain origin story, Todd Phillips blew his story formula by deciding to make a musical. Lady Gaga joined the franchise as Harley Quinn, but little is known about how Phillips plans to infuse her version of Gotham with music. The history of cinema isn’t exactly littered with superhero musicals, so it can be difficult for outside observers to gauge what his landmarks might be.

Still, cinematographer Lawrence Sher may have given fans one of their first big hints about the film’s influences. Sher, who shot both “Joker” and “Folie à Deux,” recently revealed that he used an infamous Francis Ford Coppola musical as a reference point. In an interview with YouTuber Matti HaapojaSher listed Coppola’s 1981 film “One from the Heart” as one of the film’s visual inspirations.

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“’One from the Heart,’ which is an old Francis Ford Coppola film,” Sher said when asked about the films he has studied recently. “I analyzed it for the new ‘Joker’ so it was part of the conversation. If those images ended up really influencing the new one, in part maybe they did, they became a conversation starter for me and Mark Friedberg the production designer and Todd as we explored those early days. While it’s not a reference that you’ll pick up on set and say, “I want it to be like this,” it’s like food for thought. It’s dream food.

“One From the Heart” follows a young couple played by Frederic Forrest and Teri Garr who reconsider their breakup after spending a chaotic night in Las Vegas with two new lovers. The film was a critical and commercial flop, grossing less than $1 million on a $26 million budget. But the film has enjoyed a slight reappraisal in recent years with cinephiles praising the virtuosic cinematography and artful depictions of Vegas (though the narrative aspects are still generally panned).

“Joker: Folie à Deux” will be released in theaters on October 4, 2024.