We live in the age of films being made from stories based on comic books and their characters, and because of the seemingly endless source material, most of these films will include subtle Easter eggs in the background – but, sadly, Joker doesn’t.
Director Todd Phillips spoke with Collider, revealing why you won’t find any subtle in-jokes or references to the wider DC universe in his film, because he’s just not interested in them.
“I don’t do Easter eggs. Any Easter eggs anybody finds is a mistake. I don’t understand,” he said.
Star of the film Joaquin Phoenix then jumped in, “I was saying to the last press, they asked me this thing about the clock and 11:11 and I said, ‘Paul is dead.’ And he was like, ‘What?’ I said, ‘Paul is dead. He’s like, ‘I don’t know.’ And the other guy that was like my age was like, ‘It’s a Beatles reference, dude.’ It’s these f***ing 22-year-old kids, they don’t know ‘Paul is dead.’
“I go, ‘You see what you want to see, you hear what you want to hear.’ Everybody thought it said ‘Paul is dead’ backwards and s**t,” he added.
Phillips added, “But that 11:11 is not an Easter egg to me.”
The clocks in the film being set to 11:11 had fans theorising that the film was set in Bizarro World (a world where everything is the opposite to Earth in some kind of way) and Arthur Fleck would actually end up becoming Batzarro (AKA Wayne Bruce, a super villain from Bizarro World).
The whole “Paul is dead” thing is in reference to the infamous urban legend that Beatles star Paul McCartney died in a car crash and was replaced by a lookalike before the release of Revolver.
The albums that followed reportedly contain ‘clues’ to suggest Paul’s dead – for instance, if McCartney was the only one not wearing shoes while walking down Abbey Road, he must be dead.
However, if it wasn’t already obvious enough, Phillips and Phoenix want their work to be completely separate to the DC universe, except for the obvious connections like Arthur and Bruce Wayne.
If you did manage to find an Easter Egg, Phillips swears it’s the “art department sneaking something in that would make me crazy if I knew about it.”
Phoenix then joked, “There’s a Wonder Woman Easter egg in there, but you probably didn’t catch it.”
But he’s got to be trolling, surely?!