Joker Contains Another Heath Ledger Reference That We All Missed

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Back before promotion for Todd Phillips’ Joker movie became mired in one unpleasant controversy after another, the biggest question on everyone’s mind regarding the film was whether or not leading man Joaquin Phoenix would be able to live up to the legacy of Heath Ledger’s iconic performance as the Clown Prince of Crime. As it turns out, Joker itself is conscious of carrying forward Ledger’s work, which is why it contains references to his incarnation of the villain as well as a direct nod to the actor himself.

In one scene when Arthur Fleck prepares for his first appearance on a television show that he’d always dreamed of being on, he spots an older woman in the audience looking visibly excited to see him in person. Arthur confidently strolls over to her, plants a big kiss on her face and then gets back to the show Live! with Murray Franklin.

As you can see below, this is a callback to an actual Heath Ledger interview during the press tour for The Dark Knight. At that point, the actor had been better known as a teen heartthrob rather than an iconic cinema villain, and a female fan had caught up to him while he was being interviewed and couldn’t stop herself from screaming with enthusiasm. Seeing her so visibly moved, Ledger gave her a kiss, causing her to faint on the spot.

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This is a pleasant turnaround from earlier interviews with the cast of the film, where both Todd Phillips and Phoenix were careful to downplay any connection to past DC movies and insisted their iteration of the Joker was a separate entity from any other versions of the Clown Prince of Crime that’ve come before.

Tell us, though, did you spot any additional references in the movie to Ledger or his work in The Dark Knight? As always, let us know by dropping a comment down below.

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