Joker Movie Poster

Trivia for Joker

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  • This is an origin story.
  • The film will reportedly feature a younger actor portraying the Joker and will be separate from the DC Extended Universe and be part of a new film label by DC Comics and Warner Bros. Joaquin Phoenix is only 2½ years younger than Jared Leto.
  • Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy expressed hope that Joker voice actor Mark Hamill could reprise the role in the film while DC Extended Universe Joker actor Jared Leto wanted to reprise the role as well.
  • The studio was looking at Leonardo DiCaprio as The Joker. Also considered were Bradley Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal, Adam Driver, James Franco, Will Poulter, Dan Stevens, Paul Dano, Lakieth Stanfield, Caleb Landry Jones, Iwan Rheon, and Bill Skarsg?rd.
  • The actor Martin Ballantyne, who portrayed the Jokers Henchman in the Dark Knight, expressed an interest in reprising his role.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio turned down the role of the Joker in order to work on Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (releases in 2019).
  • First time Todd Phillips has directed a non-comedic film.
  • As of July 18th 2018, the movie has been titled Joker and is being released on October 4th 2019 going up against Zombieland 2 which was also officially dated on July 18th 2018.
  • Frances McDormand turned down the Penny role.
  • This is Zazie Beetz's second comic book movie after Deadpool 2 (2018).
  • Viggo Mortensen turned down the role as Thomas Wayne.
  • Viggo Mortensen reportedly turned down the role of Thomas Wayne.
  • Robert De Niro was intended to play Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne's father, but pulled out prior to the start of shooting.
  • Alec Baldwin was in talks to play Thomas Wayne, but dropped out a day after being announced in the role, due to scheduling conflicts.
  • This is Frances Conroy's first live-action DC movie from a Batman villain since Catwoman (2004). She was also a voice actor in All-Star Superman (2011) and Superman: Unbound (2013).
  • The movie is meant to start a new company that will produce standalone DC movies.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio and Bill Skarsgård were rumored to play the Joker.
  • On an Instagram post from Todd Phillips, he reveals a picture with the caption "Arthur," likely meaning the Joker's original name in the film will be Arthur.
  • This will be Frances Conroy's second live action DC movie from a Batman villain after Catwoman (2004).
  • Brett Cullen also appears as Congressman Gilley in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
  • The character of the Joker is named Arthur Fleck. Or A.Fleck, as a nod to Ben Affleck who portrayed Batman in the DCEU.
  • Three of the previous actors who have played the Joker (Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Jared Leto) are Oscar winners, with Ledger winning for playing The Joker. Joaquin Phoenix has been nominated for an Oscar three times.
  • Brett Cullen stars as Thomas Wayne, making this his second appearance in a Batman related film following his role as Congressman Gilley in The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Third iteration of the character appearing to have long hair, following Kevin Michael Richardson's animated version in The Batman (2004) and Heath Ledger's iconic portrayal in The Dark Knight (2008).
  • Joaquin Phoenix is the fourth Gladiator (2000) actor to star in a DC movie. Russell Crowe was in Man of Steel (2013), Connie Nielsen was in both Wonder Woman and Justice League (2017), and Djimon Hounsou is in Aquaman (2018) and Shazam! (2019).
  • Early footage shows Arthur walking by a sign for Amusement Mile, Gotham City's version of Coney Island, which features prominently in the original Killing Joke graphic novel. Joker co-creator Bill Finger was partly inspired by a sign for Steeplechase Park in the real Coney Island which featured a grotesque grinning face.
  • Joaquin Phoenix who plays Joker in this film has an interesting coincidence with his name: first two letters of his name coincides with the character he plays 'Jo'ker and 'Jo'aquin. Also his name ends with 'quin' which also is the name of Joker's girlfriend Harley Quinn who stars alongside joker in various mainstream media.
  • This will be Robert De Niro's first appearance in a comic book adaptation since Stardust (2007)
  • This is Bill Camp and Douglas Hodge's first collaboration since Red Sparrow (2018), which also starred Jeremy Irons who plays Alfred Pennyworth in the DCEU.
  • This is Bill Camp's second comic book movie in 2019 since he was in The Kitchen (2019).
  • The director, Todd Phillips, revealed on Instagram that shooting had wrapped on 19th of December 2018.
  • Joaquin Phoenix is dating Rooney Mara, who was among the actresses considered to play The Joker's girlfriend; Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad (2016).
  • Joaquin phoenix is (so far) the only actor to play the joker in a live action movie to not have won an academy award.
  • The Joker's make-up is very similar to John Wayne Gacy's, a serial killer who would often entertain children while dressed as Pogo the Clown. This make-up style was shunned by working clowns at the time, as they strictly prohibit "sharp" ends in their make-up, as it scares children. Phillip's actually had the real-life Gacy do the artwork for the posters of his documentary Mike Bremer and thanked him in the closing credits of it.
  • Although Ben Affleck has chosen not to reprise his role as Batman, the Jokers name is reportedly set as "Arthur Fleck" -- "A. Fleck" for short leading fans to believe this may be paying homage to Affleck
  • Zazie Beetz and Brian Tyree Henry also co star in the FX's comedy drama show Atlanta (2016).
  • The filmmakers cite Alan Moore's comic "The Killing Joke", which tells the Joker's origin and descent into insanity, and the Martin Scorsese films Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980) and The King of Comedy (1982) as an influence on the film.
  • Joaquin Phoenix lost a lot of weight for his role as the Joker. It was so serious that filming could only be done once, with no opportunity for reshoots. Todd Phillips had to write the script during production.
  • Due to differences in time zones the first trailer was released on April 4th in Australia which is also the birthday of the late Australian actor Heath Ledger who played Joker in The Dark Knight (2008).
  • Joaquin Phoenix is the seventh actor to portray Joker on the silver screen. He follows Cesar Romero (Batman: The Movie (1966)), Jack Nicholson (Batman (1989)), Mark Hamill (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)), Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight (2008)), Jared Leto (Suicide Squad (2016)), and Zach Galifianakis (The Lego Batman Movie (2017)).
  • Joaquin Phoenix's first role in a comic book film. He previously turned down the title role in Doctor Strange (2016) as well as the chance to replace Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/Hulk in The Avengers (2012), because he was unwilling to sign on to the multi-picture deal that Marvel Studios was requiring.
  • The song heard in the teaser trailer is "Smile", composed by Charles Chaplin for his film Modern Times (1936).
  • Sharon Washington's character is named Debra Kane as a tribute to Batman's creator Bob Kane.
  • Martin Ballantyne, who portrayed Joker's Henchman in The Dark Knight (2008), expressed a preference to reprise his role for this film.
  • Joaquin Phoenix was good friends with the late Heath Ledger who won an Oscar for his portrayal as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008).
  • Joker is the first theatrical live-action Batman spin-off since Suicide Squad (2016)
  • Joaquin Phoenix was considered for the role of Batman in Darren Aronofsky's canceled Batman: Year One movie.
  • Shailene Woodley was offered the role of Sophie Dumond but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with Big Little Lies (2017). Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Dakota Johnson and Aja Naomi King were all considered for the the part. Winstead went on to play Helena Bertinelli/Huntress in Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020). Zazie Beetz was cast in the role.
  • Todd Phillips confirmed that it will be rated R, making it the second DC movie featuring the Joker to be rated R after, Batman: The Killing Joke (2016).
  • Actor Dante Pereira-Olson, who played young Bruce Wayne in this movie, has previously played a young version of Joaquin Phoenix's character Joe in You Were Never Really Here (2017).
  • Dante Pereira-Olson, who played young Bruce Wayne, previously played a young version of Joaquin Phoenix's character Joe in You Were Never Really Here (2017).
  • The Joker's name is Arthur Fleck- A. Fleck for short. This may be paying homage to Ben Affleck, who previously played Batman.
  • The filmmakers used the working title 'Romeo' while filming to keep the film's production a secret.
  • Robert De Niro previously appeared in Heat (1995) opposite previous Batman actor Val Kilmer. The bank robbery in Heat (1995) was also the inspiration for the opening sequence of The Dark Knight (2008), with William Fichtner appearing in both movies. De Niro also turned down a role in The Departed (2006) that went to Jack Nicholson, who played The Joker in Batman (1989).
  • At 5'10" ft (177 cm), Joaquin Phoenix is the second shortest actor to portray the Joker, next only to Jared Leto at 5'8" ft (173 cm).
  • The first theatrical DC Comics film to be rated R since Watchmen (2009), released ten years earlier.
  • The joke "When I was a little boy and told people I was going to be comedian, everyone laughed at me. Well no one's laughing now" is inspired by the late British comedian Bob Monkhouse's "People used to laugh at me when I said I wanted to be a comedian. Well they're not laughing now."
  • With Joaquin Phoenix playing the Joker, all the major cast members of Gladiator (2000) have played mentors/origin story characters for all the DC superheroes. Russell Crowe has played Superman's father Jor-El in Man of Steel (2013), Connie Nielsen played Princess Diana 's mother Queen Hippolyta in Wonder Woman (2017) and Djimon Hounsou played Shazam the wizard in Shazam! (2019) and King Ricou in Aquaman (2018).
  • Co-writer and director Todd Phillips doesn't see Joker as that big of a departure from comedy. "It's different tonally than a lot of my work, but ultimately it's storytelling. I was influenced by the movies I grew up on, character studies of the 70s, so I thought why can't you do genre film like that in the comic book world, a deep dive on a character like Joker. I thought with a great actor we could really do something special."
  • Co-writer and Director Todd Phillips said he doesn't see Joker as that big of a departure from comedy. "It's different tonally than a lot of my work, but ultimately it's storytelling. I was influenced by the movies I grew up on, character studies of the 70s, so I thought why can't you do genre film like that in the comic book world -- a deep dive on a character like Joker. I thought with a great actor we could really do something special."
  • River Phoenix said he was drawn to the project because "we were going to approach it in our own way. I didn't refer to any past iterations of the character. It just felt like it was our creation." He expanded on that to add, "I think what was so attractive is he's so hard to define and you don't really want to define him. There were times I would find I was identifying certain parts of his personality and then I would back away from that because I wanted there to remain a kind of mystery. Every day felt like we were discovering new aspects of the character."
  • Todd Phillips described Joaquin Phoenix's take on Arthur as, "a guy who is searching for identity who mistakenly becomes a symbol. His goal genuinely is to make people laugh and bring joy to the world."
  • An early reference for Todd Phillips and co-screenwriter Scott Silver was the silent film The Man Who Laughs (1928). They felt they had "a lot of freedom because Joker never really had an origins story in the comics. We thought it was really liberating because there really were no rules or boundaries, Scott and I just pushed each other every day to come up with something totally insane."
  • In terms of prep, the first part for Joaquin Phoenix was physical: "You really start to go mad when you start to lose that much weight in that amount of time." He also read about political assassins and would-be assassins, but was careful not to overly define Arthur. "I wanted the freedom to create something that wasn't identifiable. I didn't want a psychologist to be able to identify the kind of person he was," he explained. A key element of finding the character came during rehearsal when Todd Phillips gave Phoenix a journal which acts as a prop in the film. Said Phoenix, "That was really helpful but I wasn't sure how to start. It became a really important part of discovery for me at that time."
  • For the Joker's laugh, Todd Phillips broke down into three types: "the affliction laugh, the one of the guys laugh and the authentic joy laugh", the director described it to Joaquin Phoenix as "something that is almost painful, part of him that's trying to emerge." That was "a really interesting way of looking at this laugh. We all assume what a Joker laugh is. This was new and exciting."
  • Joaquin Phoenix disagreed about gravitating towards tormented characters, stating he had been "interested in the light of Arthur for lack of a better word. It wasn't just the torment, it was the joy, his struggle to find happiness and to feel connected. To have warmth and love. I don't think of a character as tormented." Ultimately, Phoenix said of Arthur/Joker, "He was so many different things to me at different times, the more unpredictable it was the more inspiring."
  • When asked about violence in the R-rated film, Todd Phillips said, "Violence in the movie was always meant to be a slow burn. People assume and think it's going to be a really violent movie; it affects you differently. You could watch something like John Wick 3 and there's a much higher amount of violence. We tried to paint it with as realistic a brush as possible so that when it comes it feels like a punch in the stomach. But it's all a balancing act of tone." And when asked about tone, "I think movies are oftentimes mirrors of society, but never molders. We wrote it in 2017 so inevitably certain themes find their way in." When he continued, "It's not a political film" there was laughter in the press room, and he added "for some I think it depends the lens which you view it through."
  • When asked if Joker meant anything for the DC/Marvel rivalry, Todd Phillips stated: "I'm not about the competition with Marvel and I've not been in the comic book world. When we conceived of this idea, it was a different approach. I don't know the sort of effect it will have with other filmmakers. Comic movies are doing really well. They don't need to change."
  • During a press conference at the Venice International Film Festival, Joaquin Phoenix was asked if he prepared for the role by watching any other takes on the character, and it seems this version does not find its roots in anything that's come before. "For me what the attraction to make this film, this character, was that we were going to approach it in our own way, so for me, I didn't refer to any past iterations of the character." Phoenix said. "It was just something that felt like it was our creation in some ways and I think that's what was really important for me and key to it."
  • The premiere featured at the Venice Film Festival, drew an eight-minute standing ovation.
  • This is the first live-action Batman related film to be given a certified R rating, despite the fact that Batman does not appear in the movie.
  • The premiere of the film at the Venice Film Festival drew an eight-minute standing ovation.
  • Joaquin Phoenix talked about how his conception of Joker changed during production and what interested him in the character. "Throughout the course of shooting it felt like every day we were discovering new parts of his personality, up until the very last day," said Phoenix. "It was his struggle to find happiness and to feel connected and to feel warmth and love and that's the part of the character I was interested in. He was so many different things to me. Who he was in the first few weeks of shooting was completely different than who he was in the end. He was constantly evolving. I've never had an experience like this. The more unpredictable and looser we left it, the more exciting it was."
  • Speaking about the villain's iconic laugh, Joaquin Phoenix called it "Something that's almost painful. I think for Joker it's a part of him that wants to emerge. I think we all kind of assume what a Joker laugh is and it felt like a new, fresh way of looking at it. I didn't think that I could do it", he added. "I kind of practiced alone but I asked Todd to come over to audition my laugh. I felt like I had to be able to do it on the spot and in front of somebody else. It was really uncomfortable. It took me a long time".
  • Received an 8-minute standing ovation after a screening at the Venice Film Festival.
  • According to the MSN.com film website, this film got made because the producers pitched a production budget of just $35 million to Warner Bros, and the actual final cost of the film (i.e before advertising, distribution and promotion) stayed within that figure. This is partly because Todd Phillips is known to not be a flamboyant director, the film is not an effects heavy movie and Joaquin Phoenix is not considered to be an expensive A list superstar actor but a down to earth character actor who prefers to work on low key projects.
  • Phoenix stated about the villain's iconic laugh, calling it "something that's almost painful. I think for Joker it's a part of him that wants to emerge. I think we all kind of assume what a Joker laugh is and it felt like a new, fresh way of looking at it." "I didn't think that I could do it," he added. "I kind of practiced alone but I asked Todd to come over to audition my laugh. I felt like I had to be able to do it on the spot and in front of somebody else. It was really uncomfortable. It took me a long time." Thank you,
  • Co-writer and Director Todd Phillips said he doesn't see the film as that big of a departure from comedy. "It's different tonally than a lot of my work, but ultimately it's storytelling. I was influenced by the movies I grew up on, character studies of the 70s, so I thought why can't you do genre film like that in the comic book world -- a deep dive on a character like Joker. I thought with a great actor we could really do something special."
  • Joaquin Phoenix said he was drawn to the project because "we were going to approach it in our own way. I didn't refer to any past iterations of the character. It just felt like it was our creation." He expanded on that to add, "I think what was so attractive is he's so hard to define and you don't really want to define him. There were times I would find I was identifying certain parts of his personality and then I would back away from that because I wanted there to remain a kind of mystery. Every day felt like we were discovering new aspects of the character."
  • Joaquin Phoenix disagreed about gravitating towards tormented characters, stating he had been "interested in the light of Arthur for lack of a better word. It wasn't just the torment, it was the joy, his struggle to find happiness and to feel connected. To have warmth and love. I don't think of a character as tormented." Ultimately, Phoenix said of Arthur/Joker, "He was so many different things to me at different times, the more unpredictable it was the more inspiring."
  • Received an 8 minutes standing ovation during it's premiere at the Venice film festival
  • Speaking at the Venice Film Festival where the film premiered, Joaquin Phoenix stated that he wanted his version of the Joker to be extremely complex, so he did extensive research on various personality disorders so that even psychiatrists would not be able to identify what his character was. He also added that even the filmmaker and Phoenix himself were in the process of discovering new aspects of the character and his personality up until the very last day of the shooting.
  • Joaquin Phoenix explained he wanted his spin on the character to be unidentifiable by real-world psychiatrists after noting he didn't consult past portrayals of the Joker, including Heath Ledger's Academy Award-winning performance. "The attraction to make this film and this character was that we were going to approach it in our own way, so, for me, I didn't refer to any past iterations of the character," Phoenix said. "It was just something that felt like it was our creation in some ways, and I think that's what was really important for me and key to it."
  • Joaquin Phoenix didn't exactly say that he went mad doing the role of the title character. What he actually said, during the movie's press conference: "The first thing for us was the weight loss. I think that's really what I started with. And, as it turns out, that then affects your psychology. You start to go mad when you lose that amount of weight in that amount of time."
  • Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera has identified Joker as an early Oscar contender following its premiere screening at the 76th annual event on Saturday. In an interview with Deadline, Barbera discussed Joker's resoundingly positive reception and further stoked awards buzz by endorsing critics' praise for Joaquin Phoenix's apparent Oscar-worthy performance as the Clown Prince of Crime. "They're very good," he said of the film's Academy prospects. "Absolutely, it will be in the running. The film deserves the reception it is getting. It goes beyond the boundaries of the genre. Joaquin Phoenix's performance is outstanding and Todd Phillips did a great job."
  • Joaquin Phoenix based his laugh on "videos of people suffering from pathological laughter." He also sought to portray a character with which audiences could not identify.
  • Joaquin Phoenix had been interested in a low-budget "character study" of a comic book character, and said the film "feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe [...] It might as well be the thing that scares you the most.
  • Robert De Niro said his role in Joker pays homage to his character from The King of Comedy (1982), Rupert Pupkin, who is a comedian obsessed with a talk-show host.
  • Zazie Beetz, a "huge fan" of Joaquin Phoenix, said that it was "an honor" to work with him, and that she learned a lot working with him on set.
  • By September 2017, Warner Bros. was considering casting Leonardo DiCaprio as the Joker, hoping to use his frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese's involvement to lure him, but by February 2018, Joaquin Phoenix was Todd Phillips' top choice for the role. Padraig Cotter of Screen Rant noted that since the film was a standalone story, Phoenix would not have to appear in sequels as he would have in the Marvel offer. Phoenix said when he learned of the film, he became excited because it was the kind of film he was looking to make, describing it as unique and stating it did not feel like a typical "studio movie". However, it took Phoenix some time to commit to the role, as it intimidated him and he said "oftentimes, in these movies, we have these simplified, reductive archetypes, and that allows for the audience to be distant from the character, just like we would do in real life, where it's easy to label somebody as evil, and therefore say, 'Well, I'm not that.'"
  • According to Todd Phillips about writing the script: "It was a yearlong process from when we finished the script just to get the new people on board with this vision, because I pitched it to an entirely different team than made it. There were emails about: 'You realize we sell Joker pajamas at Target.' There were a zillion hurdles, and you just sort of had to navigate those one at a time. At the time, I would curse them in my head every day. But then I have to put it in perspective and go, 'They're pretty bold that they did this.'
  • Todd Phillips and Scott Silver wrote Joker throughout 2017, and the writing process took about a year. According to producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff, it took some time to get approval for the script from Warner Bros., partly because of concerns over the content. Similarly, Phillips commented that there were "a zillion hurdles" during the year-long writing process due to the visibility of the character. Phillips said that while the script's themes may reflect modern society, the film was not intended to be political.
  • Todd Phillips and Scott Silver found the most common Joker origin story, in which the character is disfigured after falling into a vat of chemicals, too unrealistic. Instead, they used certain elements of the Joker lore to produce an original story, which Phillips wanted to feel as authentic as possible. Because the Joker does not have a definitive origin story in the comics, Phillips and Silver were given considerable creative freedom and "pushed each other every day to come up with something totally insane." The two wrote the script with Phoenix in mind: "The goal was never to introduce Joaquin Phoenix into the comic book movie universe. The goal was to introduce comic book movies into the Phoenix universe."
  • Following the disappointing critical and financial performance of Justice League (2017), in January 2018 Walter Hamada replaced Jon Berg as the head of DC-based film production at Warner Bros. Hamada sorted through the various DC films in development, canceling some while advancing work on others; Joker was expected to begin filming in late 2018 with a small budget. By June, Robert De Niro was under consideration for a supporting role in the film. The deal with Joaquin Phoenix was finalized in July 2018, after four months of persuasion from Todd Phillips. Immediately afterwards, Warner Bros. officially green-lit the film, titled it Joker, and gave it an October 4, 2019, release date. Warner Bros. described the film as "an exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale".
  • Principal photography commenced on September 10, 2018 in New York City, under the working title Romeo.
  • On September 22 2018, a scene depicting a violent protest took place in Brooklyn, although the station was modified to look like Bedford Park Blvd. In late September 2018, filming of robbery scenes took place at the First Central Savings Bank in Astoria, Queens. According to Zazie Beetz, Todd Phillips rewrote the entire script during production; because Joaquin Phoenix lost so much weight for the film, there would not be an opportunity for reshoots. She recalled: "we would go into Todd's trailer and write the scene for the night and then do it. During hair and makeup we'd memorize those lines and then do them and then we'd reshoot that three weeks later."
  • Production moved to New Jersey afterward. Filming in Jersey City started on September 30 and shut down Newark Avenue, while filming in November (starting on November 9) shut down Kennedy Boulevard. Filming in Newark began on October 13 and lasted until October 16. Shortly before filming in Newark began, SAG-AFTRA received a complaint that extras were locked in subway cars for more than three hours during filming in Brooklyn, a break violation. However, the issue was quickly resolved after a representative visited the set. That month, Dante Pereira-Olson and Douglas Hodge joined the cast. Whigham said towards the end of October the film was in "the middle" of production, adding that it was an "intense" and "incredible" experience. By mid-November, filming had moved back to New York. Filming wrapped on December 3, 2018, with Todd Phillips posting a picture on his Instagram feed later in the month to commemorate the occasion.
  • Todd Phillips confirmed he was in the process of editing Joker in March 2019. At CinemaCon the following month, he stated the film was "still taking shape" and said it was difficult to discuss, as he hoped to maintain secrecy. Phillips also stated that most reports surrounding the film were inaccurate, which he felt was because it is "an origin story about a character that doesn't have a definitive origin". Brian Tyree Henry was also confirmed to have a role in the film. The visual effects were provided by Scanline VFX and Shade VFX and supervised by Matthew Giampa and Bryan Godwin, with Erwin Rivera serving as the overall supervisor.
  • In August 2018, Hildur Guðnadóttir was hired to compose the film's score. Guðnadóttir began writing music after reading the script and met with Todd Phillips, who "had a lot of strong ideas" about how he thought the score should sound. She worked on the Joker score alongside the score for the drama miniseries Chernobyl (2019); Guðnadóttir said switching between the two was challenging because the scores were so different.
  • The film's final budget was $55 million, considered by The Hollywood Reporter "a fraction" of the typical budget for a comic book-based film.
  • Todd Phillips compares the film to The Dark Knight (2008).
  • The first film for the DC Black label.
  • Director Todd Phillips had to convince the movie studio to keep the R rating for the movie when they became concerned about some of the footage they saw as being too violent.
  • Joaquin Phoenix is the first Puerto-Rican actor to portray the Joker on film.
  • Todd Phillips won the Venice film festival's prize, the Golden Lion, for Best Film. During his acceptance speech, Phillips thanked "Warner Bros. and DC for stepping out of their comfort zone and taking such a bold swing on me and this movie," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Phillips also thanked Joaquin Phoenix, who joined him on stage. "There is no movie without Joaquin Phoenix. Joaquin is the fiercest and brightest and most open-minded lion I know. Thank you for trusting me with your insane talent," said Phillips.
  • Zazie Beetz was asked by Variety at TIFF about whether or not the movie sympathizes with Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck, a struggling stand-up comedian and clown for hire whose psychological unraveling leads him to become the notorious Batman villain. Beetz doesn't deny that "Joker" has a sympathetic viewpoint, but she argued that it's less towards Arthur/Joker and more towards Arthur's predicament on a broader scale. "It's kind of an empathy toward isolation," Beetz said, "and an empathy towards what is our duty as a society to address people who slip through the cracks in a way. There is a lot of culture of that right now. So is it empathy for that or just an observation on personalities who struggle?"
  • Joaquin Phoenix was cagey during interviews at the Venice Film Festival when asked about siding with Arthur. Phoenix told press that any questions they might have about "Joker" will be left up to the audience to decide. "The great joy of the film for the audience is that they get to decide for themselves [what to think about Arthur's transformation]," Phoenix said. "That's what I was attracted to. In most movies, certainly in genre movies where there is a hero and the villain, the motivations of the character are clear. What I like about this is that I was never certain what was motivating him. I have my own opinion. I think I know what it is for me. But I wouldn't want to impose on anyone who hasn't seen the movie."
  • In Sept. 2019 "Joker" director and co-writer Todd Phillips said he wants comic book movie fans to know that there is no chance of Joaquin Phoenix's villain and Robert Pattinson's Batman ever crossing over on the big screen. He added that doesn't mean Pattinson won't ever possibly face off against Joker, it just won't be his version.
  • According to Todd Phillips on New York Times, Joaquin Phoenix "lost his composure on the set, sometimes to the bafflement of his co-stars." "In the middle of the scene, he'll just walk away and walk out," Phillips said. "And the poor other actor thinks it's them and it was never them - it was always him, and he just wasn't feeling it." Phoenix might have walked off set, but he always returned after taking a breather. Phillips remembered Phoenix reassuring him after an especially tense moment, "We'll take a walk and we'll come back and we'll do it." One person Phoenix never walked out on was Robert De Niro, De Niro told The Times that Phoenix was a "consummate professional" when they were on set together. "Joaquin was very intense in what he was doing, as it should be, as he should be," De Niro said. "There's nothing to talk about, personally, on the side, 'Let's have coffee.' Let's just do the stuff."
  • Although this is Robert De Niro's first comic book movie, he was considered for the role of The Riddler in Batman Forever (1995).
  • Became the first film by a major studio to win the golden lion(Venice film festival's highest prize) as well as being the first comic book movie to be shown in a major film festival.
  • This version of Joker exists separately from DCEU movies like Wonder Woman (2017), Aquaman (2018), and Justice League (2017)--a fact Justice League (2017) has been clear about. But at the Toronto International Film Festival recently, the director also insisted that Joaquin Phoenix's Joker and the upcoming new iteration of Batman played by Robert Pattinson in The Batman (2021) will not collide. "I don't see [Joker] connecting to anything in the future," Phillips said. "This is just a movie."
  • Joaquin Phoenix walked out of an interview when asked to respond to concerns about onscreen violence in his new film, "Joker," which tells the origin story of the DC comic book villain. For an article, Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin sat down with the actor and asked whether he worries the new film "might perversely end up inspiring exactly the kind of people it's about, with potentially tragic results." Phoenix balked at the question. "Why? Why would you ... ? No, no," he stammered before abruptly getting up and leaving the room. An hour later, after negotiating with a Warner Bros agent, Phoenix returned to finish the interview, explaining that he panicked because he hadn't yet considered the question. Throughout the rest of the article, Phoenix does not provide an answer.
  • In a recent interview with SFX magazine, Joaquin Phoenix acknowledged that while the violence in "Joker" is "a little more visceral and raw" than films such as the Avengers series, he "didn't have any hesitation about it." "You always want it to feel real, and you want the little violence that we have to have an impact," he said. "What happens in a lot of movies is that you get numb to it, you're killing 40,000 people, you don't feel it. While being a fictional story in a fictional world, you always want it to feel real. Everything that happens in this movie as far as violence goes, you feel it."
  • In an interview, Joaquin Phoenix discussed Batman and whether or not his version of the Joker would be enthused to meet him. "I hadn't thought about that. I feel under pressure. I want to give you a great answer, something that's fun. You have a lot of energy, you seem excited, I want to reciprocate that. But I don't know what his reaction will be. I imagine that he would feel a surge of excitement."
  • Joaquin Phoenix called perfecting the Joker's laugh the toughest part of playing the character.
  • Joaquin Phoenix was in Parenthood (1989) thirty years earlier alongside Dianne Wiest, who was in the movie The Lost Boys (1987) directed by Joel Schumacher, who also directed Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997).
  • Second DC movie featuring the Joker to be R rated after Batman: The Killing Joke (2016).
  • Batman: The Killing Joke (2016), who has a rather well-documented dislike of comic book movies, said he agreed to take part in the film because getting a chance to work with Robert De Niro and Joaquin Phoenix was too big an opportunity to pass up.
  • The teaser trailer uses a cover of "Smile", Charles Chaplin's original composition from Modern Times (1936). To double down on it, Fleck is even shown being thrown out of a cinema that's advertising a showing of that very film.
  • Wall markings of the Amusement Mile, Gotham City's old amusement park in the comics, can be seen in the first set stills. As well as graffiti referencing the Mad Hatter.
  • Fans weren't expecting Todd Phillips, who directed The Hangover trilogy, to direct a DC film. This hasn't been the first time he'd direct against type, though as he directed War Dogs (2016).
  • Warner Brothers were initially hesitant in making this film as it was thought to be too dark and violent. They were concerned that it may tarnish Joker for kids who annually buy millions of toys and related merchandise. However, a year later and after some convincing from Todd Phillips, they finally agreed to go ahead with this project. A violent R rated DC comic book film adaptation is nothing new to Warner Brothers who spent a considerable amount on V for Vendetta (2005) and Watchmen (2009) with the latter costing more than $130m, more than double that of the Joker.
  • The story takes places in 1981, which is the same year Robert De Niro won an Academy Award for his role as Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980).
  • Joaquin Phoenix revealed that Ray Bolger heavily influenced the Joker's quirky dance moves in the movie. "There was a particular song called 'The Old Soft Shoe' that he performed and I saw a video of it and there's this odd arrogance almost to his movements and, really, I completely just stole it from him," the star explains. "He does this thing of turning his chin up. This choreographer, Michael Arnold, showed me that and tons of videos and I zeroed in on that one. 'That was Joker, right?' There's an arrogance to him, really. That was probably the greatest influence. But also disco."
  • While Joaquin Phoenix's performance is largely applauded, the film in itself has been criticized for its dark content and sympathetic tone towards the villain. Especially considering the shooting that took place in Aurora, Colorado during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises (2012). However, Warner Bros. tells critics, "Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero."
  • Joaquin Phoenix said about the 24 kg weight loss: "Once you reach the target weight, everything changes. Like so much of what's difficult is waking up every day and being obsessed over like 0.3 pounds. Right? And you really develop like a disorder. I mean, it's wild. But I think the interesting thing for me is what I had expected and anticipated with the weight loss was these feelings of dissatisfaction, hunger, a certain kind of vulnerability and a weakness. But what I didn't anticipate was this feeling of kind of fluidity that I felt physically. I felt like I could move my body in ways that I hadn't been able to before. And I think that really lent itself to some of the physical movement that started to emerge as an important part of the character."
  • Joaquin Phoenix revealed his favorite part of filming, was sassing off Robert De Niro's character Murray Franklin, he stated: "It was one of my favorites, saying 'Murr-AY.' ... Todd loved that too. And when I did that I thought: Is De Niro just going to throw an ash tray at me?"
  • Jason Momoa, most famous for playing Arthur Curry/Aquaman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Justice League (2017) and Aquaman (2018), attended the premiere wearing a purple suit. In the original DC Comics Joker always is wearing purple suit.
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003) aired a clip of Joaquin Phoenix insulting cinematographer Lawrence Sher between takes. The actor struggled to get through a scene when he got distracted by the cinematographer whispering and joked that his surname sounds like the singer Cher.
  • In India, the film was released early on October 2nd, International Day of Non-Violence, making it ironic, because it was labelled "too violent and disturbing". This public holiday in India is Mahatama Gandhi's birthday anniversary on 2nd October. Highly anticipated movies are often released on public holidays to get a good opening.
  • When Arthur is watching footage of Murray Franklin's show, Murray's guest is named Ethan. This was the name of Zach Galifianakis' character in Due Date (2010), which was also directed by Todd Phillips. By perhaps no coincidence, the character in Due Date (2010) was also an actor.
  • The actor named Ethan Chase, who guests on the Murray Franklin show, is a reference to Zach Galifianakis' character in Todd Phillips' film Due Date (2010).
  • It has been speculated that Joker was inspired by John Wayne Gacy or Pogo the clown. In the movie joker, Arthur does stand up at a comedy club/ bar called "Pogo's". Director Todd Phillips actually had John Wayne Gacy do the artwork for the promotional posters of his GG Allin documentary and thanked him the credits of it.
  • Fans believed that Joaquin Phoenix was, in fact, following extreme medical advice and eating just an apple a day in order to keep losing the weight, but he says that's not true. "It wasn't an apple a day," he said. "No, you've also got lettuce and steamed green beans." Such a vast reduction in his daily calorie intake meant that Phoenix was able to drop 28kg, all the while resisting temptation in the form of Joker director Todd Phillips. "Todd did have these f**king pretzels that I love," he said. "And he'd just have bags of them in his office! And that was difficult."
  • A group of extras reported that they were locked in a subway car for hours against union rules, and all their attempts to bring this up were ignored until some of them even had to urinate out the window. SAG stepped in upon hearing about the situation to closely monitor the production.
  • While the film draws many parallels to Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), the most blatant outside of the Robert De Niro casting is the iconic gun to the head hand gesture. This gesture is one of the most famous images to come from De Niro's Travis Bickle character, and is conducted in this film on various occasions by both Joaquin Phoenix and Zazie Beetz's characters.
  • Arthur Fleck performs stand up at 'Pogo's Comedy Club' in Gotham. Pogo the Clown was the stage name of real life professional clown and serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
  • Fans believed that Phoenix was, in fact, following extreme medical advice and eating just an apple a day in order to keep losing the weight, but he says that's not true. "It wasn't an apple a day," he said. "No, you've also got lettuce and steamed green beans." Such a vast reduction in his daily calorie intake meant that Phoenix was able to drop 52 pounds, all the while resisting temptation in the form of Joker director Todd Phillips. "Todd did have these f**king pretzels that I love," he said. "And he'd just have bags of them in his office! And that was difficult."
  • By sheer coincidence Joaquin Phoenix becomes the first actor portraying Joker with a real scar on his mouth, albeit not at the corners, as the Joker's are usually depicted.
  • Zazie Beetz also stars in Lucy in the Sky (2019), released the same day as this film.
  • Although not directly stated, the film is set in the early to mid 1980s. Several things give this away e.g. black and white television sets were still common and every television seen whether color or B&W is CRT not flat screen. Arthur uses a VCR (prohibitively expensive until the early 1980s). Vehicles used throughout the movie are common for the eta. The parallels between Gotham and the crime problems in new York around that era (including the NY subway vigilante shootings by Bernhard Goetz in 1984). The use of payphones. Murray's attire. Brian De Palma's Blow Out showing in a cinema. Bruce Wayne's apparent age and the use of the Warner Brothers logo of the era at the beginning of the film.
  • The DC comics logo does not appear in this film until after the end credits. This is a clear attempt by the film makers to distance this film from the DC extended universe films also in production at the time.
  • Director Todd Phillips was born in 1970 in New York City and wanted to invoke the feel and look of his childhood memories of the city when making this film. Although the film is set in the fictional Gotham City, there are many parallels between Gotham and NY in this film. Unemployment, crime and even the subway vigilante shootings by Bernhard Goetz in 1984 were all a direct influence on the story in this film. New York set films that were an influence on the visual style and aesthetic of this film include The French Connection (1971), Death Wish (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), The Warriors (1979) and The King of Comedy (1982). Robert De Niro, who plays the role of Murray Franklin in this film was the star of Taxi Driver (1976) and The King of Comedy (1982).
  • In a deliberate attempt to keep the budget down there are almost no CGI effects shots in this film. One of the very few is the scene where Arthur Fleck walks towards the building named Arkham Asylum in his attempt to look at his mothers medical records. This scene was CGI enhanced but otherwise most of this films effects were either practical or created in camera.
  • Originally Warner Brothers wanted Martin Scorsese to make this film with Leonardo DiCaprio as Arthur and Robert De Niro to play Murray Franklin. However in the end this proved to be logistically impossible as DiCaprio had already signed on to do Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) for Quentin Tarantino which was due to start filming at the same time. Scorsese had also committed himself to another project, The Irishman (2019), which also starred De Niro. However De Niro himself had just finished filming his scenes for that film by the time Joker went into production so was able to commit himself to doing this film too.
  • When Arthur/Joker walks onto The Murray Franklin Show, he kisses the other guest, an elderly female sex therapist. This is a reference to Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns", when Joker does the same thing (except his kiss kills the sex therapist).
  • Although he is not referred to by name anywhere in the films dialogue, the Englishman who confronts Arthur at the gates of Wayne Manor is Alfred Pennyworth, the trusted Butler and confidante of Bruce Wayne.
  • There's a pharmacy in the movie named Helms Pharmacy. Ed Helms starred as the character Stu in the The Hangover (2009) trilogy, which was also directed by Todd Phillips.
  • Joaquin Phoenix attended a Saturday screening at a movie house in the San Fernando Valley, posing with fans and shaking hands. He got a little stage fright when asked to do his tormented Joker laugh from the film.
  • The movie refers to Ethan Chase, a character in Due Date (2010), played Zach Galifianakis. Galifianakis later portrayed The Joker.
  • The two films showing at the theater the Wayne family is shown exiting near the end are Blow Out (1981) and Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981). Both are real movies that were released on back-to-back weekends in July 1981.
  • Joaquin Phoenix said he took the role of the Joker "because I wasn't sure how I felt about him. When I have all the answers, I get bored. This one really kept me guessing."
  • It appears Arthur is illiterate to an extent, or dyslexic. In his journal it seems he misspells most words like "I hope my death makes more cents than my life" or in another entry "imagine thats how you die, on the stret" (street). Cents was written by the Joker as a pun on the word "sense".
  • Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro had a clash during the earliest stage of filming. De Niro follows traditional rite of script read-through, a process that Phoenix dislikes. De Niro insisted that they did, and Phoenix half-heartedly accepted, mumbling through the entire read-through. They reportedly settled their differences immediately, but on set they hardly ever spoke to each other outside of filming. They maintained that their disagreement are strictly professional, however, and Phoenix went on to say that De Niro is his favorite actor.
  • According to a report from Hollywood Reporter Jared Leto, who played the Joker in Suicide Squad (2016) to mixed reception, was allegedly very alienated and upset by Joaquin Phoenix being the Joker and not him.
  • Murray Franklin and his show appear to be an amalgam, of Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin, along with the talk shows they hosted.. The surname Franklin was likely an homage to Joe Franklin, who hosted a legendary self titled local late night talk show which aired for several years in New York City.
  • The All News Radio Station and story format Arthur listens to at the beginning of the film was based on those of New York City Radio Station WINS.
  • At a point of the movie Arthur Fleck says "I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it's a comedy." It's a paraphrasing of Charles Chaplin's quote who once said: "Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot." Chaplin also makes an appearance in a viewing of 'Modern Times' for the elite of Gotham City whilst the city is blazing outside by riots.
  • At one point in the film, Joker looks out of a cop car and the camera focuses on his face while there is a bokeh present in the background. This is an homage to a similar shot in The Dark Knight (2008).
  • Arthur fires the gun and writes left-handed, but Joaquin Phoenix is right-handed.
  • The actor portraying Bruce Wayne played young Joe (Joaquin Phoenix's character) in You Were Never Really Here (2017).
  • There is a sign on the street for Puerto Rico right before he can be seen the street musician playing the piano. Joaquin Phoenix was born in Puerto Rico.
  • Joker's make-up is similar to the makeup of serial killer John Wayne Gacy who dressed as a clown called Pogo. The stand up comedy club, in which Arthur performs, is called Pogo's.
  • The address of the Joker's stairs is 1165 Shakespeare Ave, The Bronx, NY 10452, USA. After the theatrical release of the movie, the stairs turned in a touristic attraction.
  • In the scene where Arthur is in the audience of a comedy club, the performing comedian is Gary Gulman, who is a stand-up comic. The bit he performs about role-playing with his girlfriend can be heard on Gulman's 2012 album "No Can Defend."
  • This is the second time Frances Conroy plays a mother who has a son obsessed with a TV personality: the first was in How I Met Your Mother (2005), where she plays Barney Stinson's mother, who is, in turn, obsessed with Bob Barker of contest-show The Price Is Right (1972); the second is in "Joker", where her son Arthur is obsessed with Murray Franklin.
  • Zazie Beetz has also been in a Marvel Comic book movie. She played Domino in Deadpool 2 (2018).
  • During a scene where Arthur is studying the show, the guest on Murray's talk show is called 'Ethan Chase'- this is the same name as Zach Galifinakis' character in 'Due Date,' another Todd Phillips film. His character is also an aspiring actor.
  • While director Todd Phillips implies there are no major Easter eggs in the film. One particular major Easter egg can be found when Arthur is getting his make up done. When getting ready, the mirror in front of Arthur has two eyes shaped with a cowl like reflection staring right back at him if one looks closely. This can be easily be traced into Batman who will be his biggest obsession and his arch-enemy after his Joker persona is completed. For an interview in 2001 in terms of writing The Killing Joke, the graphic novel which was a major inspiration for Phillips in writing Joker, writer Alan Moore said Batman and the Joker are mirror images of each other.
  • Bryan Callen has acted in 4 movies directed by Todd Phillips. Old School (2003), The Hangover (2009), The Hangover Part II (2011), and Joker (2019).
  • In an interview in Vanity Fair, leading neurocriminologist Adrian Raine said he was stunned by how authentically the film depicted the psychology of the criminal mind. "For 42 years, I've studied the cause of crime and violence. And while watching this film, I thought - WOW, what a revelation this was. It is a great educational tool about the making of the murderer," he said. In the article, Raine went on to diagnose the character of Arthur Fleck with schizotypal personality disorder. "Those who suffer from it have bizarre beliefs, odd behavior, odd appearance, odd speech, no close friends other than family members, and emotional-affect issues - either being completely shut down or way over the top," Raine said. He now uses the film as part of a course he teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • All the analogue clocks on display throughout the movie display the time 1:50. This is a time used by clock and watch advertisers as the hands are displayed in a "Smile".
  • The stunt driver, Josh Lakatos, that drove the ambulance into the police car towards the end of the film, is also an Olympic Silver Medalist from the 1996 Atlanta's Olympic Games.
  • Before filming, director Joaquin Phoenix said that Joker's laughter should be almost painful. Joaquin Phoenix practiced many different kinds of laughter and "played" them for the director at his own request. The end result is a catchy as well as disturbing laugh.
  • There are at least 3 different types of "laughter", the joker: the "frail" laughter, the "one of the types" laughter and the "authentic joy" laughter at the end This is supposed to show a development, from the "normal" citizen to the insane criminal already known from the Batman films. At the same time, the development of the Joker should also be understandable in a certain sense.
  • The role of Arthur Fleck, Aka Joker, was realized taking into account the acting characteristics of Joaquin Phoenix Joaquin Phoenix received the script at the end of 2017. Even his mother had a say in deciding whether to join the big project or not. In retrospect, the decision was the right one for the role.
  • Joaquin Phoenix said he did not refer to earlier interpretations of the joker in developing his role. He wanted to create something of his own. He explained his decision at the Venice Film Festival press conference: "It was just something that felt like our creation, and that was really important to me."
  • The movie "Joker" was inspired by one of the most famous Batman comics. The plot of the film, which follows a failed stand-up comedian, came from the famous graphic novella / comic "Batman: The Killing Joke".
  • Arthur's clown make-up was intentionally "antique" - his lips were made reddish brown to resemble blood. Nicki Ledermann, head of make-up, says, "Even his wry smile is a metaphor for not everything being perfect. Maybe it's funny - maybe it's not that." Here should be deliberately left room for your own thoughts.
  • The script was often changed just before filming began, and the actors had to adjust the dialogue of their characters and even improvise According to film director Todd Phillips, Zazie Beet's character "Sophie" was always well planned when it came to writing or actually shooting. He complimented Beet and said she was fantastic and "never been enthusiastic about this kind of improvisation, but she was passionate about the changes, she helped with the dialogue for her character and it was a wonderful collaboration."
  • All clocks in the movie show the time as 11:11.
  • The "super-rats" segment on Murray Franklin's show and in the news references Ratcatcher, an obscure D-list villain who could mind control rats and is set to appear in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad.
  • Arthur takes a moment to enjoy a Charlie Chaplin film. The Joker, in most continuities, is a fan of classic comedians, with Chaplin being one of his favorites.
  • Arthur uses a .38 special 3rd Generation Colt Detective Special throughout the film.
  • Joaquin Phoenix is the third live action Joker, who's name starts with a "J", after Jack Nicholson and Jared Leto.

Spoilers

  • Robert De Niro's role as Murray Franklin, the talk-show host who unwittingly gives Arthur Fleck/The Joker his big break, is an ironic role reversal of The King of Comedy (1982), where De Niro played Rupert Pupkin, an unsuccessful, mentally-unstable comedian who stalked and kidnapped his favorite talk-show host, Jerry Langford (played by Jerry Lewis).
  • Joaquin Phoenix revealed an unexpected challenge he faced during filming and rehearsals he revealed: "But a really transformative moment was after the Subway when he's in the bathroom," He elaborated, "That was something that we really hadn't anticipated. We talked about that scene all throughout rehearsal. When I really kind of struggled to find something that I felt really made sense to kind of illustrate the change from Arthur to Joker. There were things like that every day up until the last scene I shot where we did multiple versions of it, It just was the nature of the character. When Todd [Phillips] and I became comfortable with that, it really began to emerge. That was a really unexpected, strange, and unique process for me. But, it was enjoyable," Phoenix concluded.
  • Although Batman is not featured, young Bruce Wayne appears twice by name. The latter scene depicts the sudden murder of both his parents. This is what causes Bruce to become the Batman in the source comic books. However, it is slightly changed in the movie.
  • During the protest scene, when Arthur dances on top of the police car near the end of the movie, there's a wide shot and a billboard in the background says "Ace in the Hole", which is a line Heath Ledger's Joker says in The Dark Knight (2008).
  • Joker kills 6 people throughout the course of the movie. The three men on the subway, Penny Fleck, Randall and Murray Franklin. It is implied that he kills an employee at Arkham Asylum at the end but the only thing shown is his bloody footprints as he walks out of the room.
  • At the end of the movie, Arthur is seen leaving arkham. During his first visit with his Social worker, she mentions he had been institutionalized at one point. The end scene shows their first visit, and Arthurs release.
  • Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) kills his mother Penny Fleck (Frances Conroy) the exact way Chief, played by Will Sampson, kills McMurphy, played by former Joker actor Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975): suffocation via pillow.
  • When Joker is involved in a car accident in Gotham's equivalent to Time Square, a marquee for an adult film called 'Ace in the Hole' is prominent in the background. In The Dark Knight (2008), the Joker (Heath Ledger) says: "You didn't think I'd risk losing the battle for Gotham's soul in a fist-fight with you? No, you need an ace in the hole; mine's Harvey." Also, many depictions of the Joker's origin (in comics and on the screen) have him falling into a vat of chemicals at Ace Chemical Plant.
  • When Arthur lets himself into Sophie's (Zazie Beetz) apartment, he tells her "I've had a bad day". This is a reference to the iconic comic book "The Killing Joke", in which the Joker's theory is everyone is just one bad day from madness.
  • During the film, the seeing of giant rats in Gotham is mentioned. If you pay attention, you can see at least three CGI giant rats running fast through the streets in key scenes, adding a disturbing element to the already dark mood of the movie: when Arthur is talking in the phone booth; when Arthur is chasing the last yuppie outside the subway; when Bruce is crying over his parents' corpses.
  • The ending of the film where the Joker is in Arkham is meant to be ambiguous as the viewer is given to draw a line about what exactly did happen and did not happen throughout the movie because everything is from Arthur's perspective. This is further hinted when he says to the doctor "You wouldn't get it" when he was asked what he finds funny implying that the whole thing was one big joke to him. In an interview, Phoenix said "This movie requires a certain amount of participation from the audience. It's up to you how you want to interpret it and experience it. It's less you being kind of presented with the facts than you being presented with these possibilities."
  • Joker is the first DC work to imply that Joker and Batman are possibly half brothers. This theory is not introduced from the comics or other shows and is entirely original to this film.
  • In most of Batman canon, Batman's parents are killed by an average mugger named "Joe Chill". However, in Batman (1989), Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered by a man named Jack Napier who would later become the Joker. In Joker 2019, an unidentified man dressed in a Joker mask murders the Waynes during a riot, making it the second film to imply the Joker is linked to the Waynes' deaths, and thus the creation of Batman.
  • At learning of the abuse in his childhood, Arthur smothers his mother to death. This is the second movie wherein Joaquin Phoenix's character smothers their parent to death after Gladiator (2000). In it, Phoenix's character Commodus smothers his father Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris).
  • Arthur's journal, used as a prop in the film, was wrote by Joaquin Phoenix kept in the character.
  • Apart from the fact that the film is based on a mostly original screenplay rather than a direct adaptation of previous Joker origin stories, it is also unique in presenting traditional enemies Joker and Bruce Wayne (Batman) as possibly related: Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is supposedly the illegitimate son of Thomas Wayne, and thus Bruce's half-brother. The movie presents it with a high degree of ambiguity, though: Arthur is initially under the impression that his father left him when he was still too young to remember him, but then learns that he was born out of a secret affair between his mother Penny and Thomas Wayne. He confronts both Alfred Pennyworth (Douglas Hodge) and Wayne (Brett Cullen) with this information, but both men seem completely unfazed by this revelation. They counter-argue that Penny was delusional and merely imagined this affair; she got Arthur through adoption. Arthur subsequently obtains his mother's psychiatric file, which seems to corroborate these events, as well as the fact that his own mental condition may be the result of domestic abuse and negligence. However, all of this is put into question when Arthur finds an old picture of his mother, with the text "Love your smile, TW" on the back; it implies that Penny and Thomas DID have a secret affair that produced Arthur, which could mean that Thomas Wayne used all his power to get Penny locked up in an asylum, and fabricated adoption papers in order to hide his illegitimate son. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Brett Cullen stated that he played Wayne with this latter scenario in mind. All of this is covered with another layer of uncertainty as Arthur is presented as an unreliable narrator who completely imagines a relation with his neighbor Sophie (Zazie Beetz), and depending on how the viewer interprets the ending, the entire movie may be part of Arthur's delusion.
  • When young Bruce Wayne leaves his play area to see Fleck at the gates he slides down a pole, a nod to the Adam West's Batman (1966) who would often slide down the bat pole.
  • Towards the end of the film when Arthur looks at the picture of his mother smiling, as you will see on the back of the photo is the phrase "I've always loved your smile", what you may have missed is that it's initialed TW (Thomas Wayne). Adding to the mystery of whether he truly is the joker's father, considering his power and influence it could have been easy to forge adoption papers, then again it could have been just as easy for Penny to sign the photo herself given her mental state.
  • Joker's red suit seen in the movie pays tribute to The King of Comedy (1982), where Rupert Pupkin, played by Robert De Niro, is an unsuccessful, mentally-unstable comedian who stalked and kidnapped his favorite talk-show host, Jerry Langford, played by Jerry Lewis. Pupkin dresses red suit.
  • The scene which had Arthur shooting Murray could be compared to the animated Batman film, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012) that showed Joker killing an entire TV show audience with gas.
  • In the film Gladiator (2000) Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix, murders his father Marcus Aurelius by choking him with a pillow. In this film, Arthur murders his mother Penny of the same way.
  • After getting hit by the taxi, Joker runs up the staircase to the rail station, where a sign behind him states "Exit 18th Avenue & McDonald Avenue." He then gets on the rail car with all the people in clown masks going to the protest. Food franchise McDonald's is famous by the clown Ronald McDonald.
  • Body Count: 8 (implied to be more off-screen)
  • When Arthur talks to his therapist after the subway shooting, stating that people did not notice who he was but now were, he is subtly telling her that he is the one that killed the three men.
  • Another indication that the film takes place in 1981 happens during the aftermath of the murder of Thomas Wayne and his wife in front of Bruce Wayne; the camera pans away from the alley behind the theatre and has a brief shot of the promotional poster for Wolfen (1981). That movie (also, ironically, a very violent R-rated horror/drama project released by Warner Brothers) was actually released in the summer of 1981.
  • There is a reference to the 1986 Dark Knight Returns graphic novel during the scene where Joker appears on the Murray Franklin Show. He walks up and kisses Dr. Salley. This is similar to the scene where in the comic he appears on the David Endochrine show and kisses Dr. Ruth, infecting her with joker toxin embedded in his lipstick.
  • Because the film blends imagined events with actual events, the Joker qualifies as an unreliable narrator, a character whose credibility is compromised. It is up to the viewer's interpretation of what was real and what wasn't. In this sense the film is structured to resemble the character of the Joker himself. This was made evident in the graphic novel "The Killing Joke," where the Joker says: "If I'm going to have a past, I'd prefer it to be multiple choice!"
  • Joker's fictional house is located in the building at the 1147 Anderson Ave, The Bronx, NY 10452, USA.
  • This marks the second time that Brett Cullen is father of a superhero. In Ghost Rider (2007) he plays Barton Blaze, whose son Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) turns into Ghost Rider. In Joker he plays Thomas Wayne, whose son Bruce Wayne turns Batman. Oddly enough, Barton Blaze and Thomas Wayne's deaths are the reason to create Ghost Rider and Batman. More odd, Cullen also appears as Congressman Gilley in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
  • Even though it's never mentioned in the film yet it's heavily implied due to the optics, some people have speculated that Arthur Fleck suffers from an eating disorder. The eating disorder he may be suffering from is believed to be anorexia nervosa, which is a disorder that mainly affects women and some men. Arthur's skeletal appearance is similar to that of a person suffering from anorexia. He is never shown eating at any point during the film. The very few times he is seen dealing with food is when he is preparing a meal for his mother and later on in the film when he's removing the few bits of food left in the refrigerator before climbing into it. Not to mention, his frequent smoking further adds to his frail physique.
  • In Dark Knight Returns, the Joker kills Dr. Ruth by giving her a toxic kiss. This is alluded to in the film when he greets a Dr. Ruth Expy with a big kiss on the lips, causing the host to ask if she's OK.
  • The rioters modeling themselves after Arthur/the Joker may make them a Canon Immigrant of the Jokerz from Batman Beyond, gangsters (many from poorer backgrounds) who emulate the Joker in admiration of him.
  • Director Todd Phillips said that he intentionally left it ambiguous as to whether Arthur becomes the actual Joker as seen in traditional Batman stories or inspires a separate character.
  • After Arthur kills the three Wayne Enterprises workers and he goes to Sophie's apartment to kiss her, her apartment number is "9". When he goes to her apartment again, her apartment number is different, meaning that all his interactions with her were just fantasies.
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