Despite whatever members of the cast and crew have to say, Todd Phillips’ Joker is a comic book movie. In fact, it’s the boldest and most shattering addition to the comic cinema canon since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
So far, the slow-burn film has shared in many of the riches and interactions of the genre, grossing humungous amounts of money (nearly $550 million at the time of writing), and, of course, being dissected by fans for easter eggs and homages to the expansive Batman universe.
From what we can tell, Phillips certainly has not disappointed in that department – with references to Heath Ledger’s iconic portrayal as well as Ratcatcher, of all people, having already been uprooted by viewers.
Now, another one (which I happily noticed the first time I saw the film, even though it seems many others missed it) has popped up that doesn’t quite fit into Joker‘s eerie tone. Strangely enough, there’s a reference to the classic Batman ’66 TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward. And the best part? It’s been confirmed by both Todd Phillips and editor Jeff Groth (who we had the chance to speak to).
Consider this to be your spoiler warning, folks.
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The moment arrives after Arthur (Joaquin Phoenix) reads through his mother’s letter to Thomas Wayne, and discovers not only that Wayne and Penny (Frances Conroy) were romantically involved when she was his employee, but also that he’s the son of Gotham’s wealthiest man.
The revelation leads the disturbed clown to Wayne Manor, where he runs into young Bruce (Dante Pereira-Olson), his supposed brother. When we first see the master Bruce, he’s romping around on a playground. And then, when he spots Arthur, he slides down a pole to the ground.
This otherwise unimportant detail connects Joker to the classic live-action show, in which Bruce (Adam West) and Dick (Burt Ward) would enter the Batcave via the Batpole. And the quick nod to the old series is especially touching given that West passed away in 2017.
Source: Screen Rant