Joker: Folie À Deux Continues Tradition of Scorsese Homages: This Time It’s a 1977 Classic

Joker: Folie À Deux Continues Tradition of Scorsese Homages: This Time It’s a 1977 Classic
Image credit: Legion-Media, Warner Bros. Pictures

Just like the first film, Todd Phillips’ upcoming hit is yet another homage to a cult director.


  • Joker: Folie À Deux remains far from being released as the film will hit the cinemas only in October, but some major plot details already indicate Todd Phillips’ source of inspiration.
  • Phillips was obviously inspired by another proclaimed director’s works while creating his first Joker while the second movie also doesn’t seem to ruin this tradition.
  • Both films’ visuals seemingly derive from the cult classic movies, but the uncertainty that surrounds Joker 2 will be clarified only this October.

Todd Phillips’ Joker 2 is still quite far from being available in theaters, but the talks about the movie’s genre, specific features and tone have never quietened down since the first sneak peeks started teasing the fans.

And though so far there’s no certainty about the most compelling details, there’s a chance that the director had once again found a source of inspiration in another famous director’s work — just like with the first Joker.

Over the course of the time Todd Phillips has repeatedly stated that Martin Scorsese has been his directorial idol for many years while Scorsese’s films inspired some specific features that made Phillips’ films stand out so strikingly.

Upon Joker’s release back in 2019, many critics pointed out to Phillips’ way of making the main character’s blurred boundaries between the reality and the hallucinations visible — something that previously found its way in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver with its character being affected by his trauma that lures him to opt for a more violent side.

On top of that, Joker, brilliantly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is clearly obsessed with the late night show hosted by Murray Franklin played by Robert De Niro. Here appears to be an even double reference to Scorsese’s work — the director’s constant collaborations with De Niro and also his 1982 satire The King of Comedy which primarily focuses on celebrity worship and a dangerous obsession.

Joker: Folie À Deux probably won’t ruin this tradition either as already now it seems to derive some of its most fascinating elements from Scorsese’s 1977 musical drama New York, New York.

Having quite an alien genre for the proclaimed director, the movie follows a jazz saxophonist and a debuting singer, portrayed by Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli respectively, who, throughout their struggles to build a career in a big city, embark on a romance that will also make them deal with great challenges.

Though the connection here is quite evident given the significant role of music in Joker 2, Todd Philips’ upcoming film still can’t be expected as some kind of New York, New York’s sequel as the musical part here will take up a much more sinister role.

So far the movie is mostly shrouded in mystery and all the theories will be proved or debunked only on October 4.