Todd Phillips Cut a Joker Ending That Would Have Confirmed Sophie's Fate
Joker director Todd Phillips has revealed that he originally filmed a scene that confirmed Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck didn't kill Zazie Beetz's character in the movie.
While the filmmakers have previously made it clear that Sophie Dumond (Beetz) survived, Phillips has now said that the film was initially going to feature a cutaway to Sophie watching Arthur's climactic interview with former idol Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro).
Considering his talk show appearance happened a couple of days after she'd discovered an uninvited Arthur in her apartment—and it hauntingly transpired that he'd been imagining their romance—the shot would have proved that neither she, nor her daughter, had met their untimely end in that instance.
Ultimately, however, Phillips decided to cut the short scene from the movie because he wanted to maintain the film's narrative structure and also ensure that it was always told from the Clown Prince of Crime's point of view.
"He doesn't kill her, definitively," Phillips said during an interview with IndieWire. "As the filmmaker and the writer, I am saying he doesn't kill her. We like the idea that it's almost like a litmus test for the audience to say, 'How crazy is he?'
"Most people that I've spoken to think he didn't kill her because they understand the idea that he only kills people that did him wrong.
"She had nothing to do with it," he continued. "Most people understood that, even as a villain, he was living by a certain code. Of course he didn’t kill this woman down the hall."
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.