If a subtle detail spotted by a Reddit user in the opening scene Todd Phillips’ Joker is intentional, it might be one of the most clever movie Easter eggs in recent times. The user posted an image of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) sitting at his vanity table, with a familiar image in the background.
The shape of the cowl of Joker’s arch-nemesis Batman seems to form in the reflection in Arthur’s mirror, with a light and a sign forming the eyes, and a hanging sign forming the ears. Interestingly, Bruce Wayne makes an appearance later in Joker, as a young boy, when Arthur goes to meet Thomas Wayne.
Even as Redditors are losing their minds over this detail, it appears to be a complete coincidence. In an interview with Collider last year, Philips had said, “I don’t do Easter eggs. Any Easter eggs anybody finds is a mistake. I don’t understand.” He claimed that any subtle references were the work of the ‘art department sneaking something in that would make me crazy if I knew about it’.
Phoenix won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Joker and is likely to reprise the role in a sequel. While no official announcement has been made about the follow-up to the 2019 drama, Phillips told The LA Times last year that he was open to directing a sequel, on the condition that it has some ‘thematic resonance’.
“It couldn’t just be this wild and crazy movie about the ‘Clown Prince of Crime.’ It would have to have some thematic resonance in a similar way that this does. Because I think that’s ultimately why the movie connected, it’s what’s going on underneath. So many movies are about the spark, and this is about the powder. If you could capture that again in a real way, that would be interesting,” he had said.
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