Any DC Comics or DCEU Easter Eggs found in Joker were not done intentionally. Director Todd Phillips revealed that fact in a new interview. DC fans have been spotting so-called references to Heath Ledger’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime and even Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the villain in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman. However, it seems they were not done on purpose by Phillips or star Joaquin Phoenix. That’s not to say there aren’t references to Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, because there definitely is. But there are no hidden Easter Eggs for DC comics and movie fans to hunt for.
Todd Phillips was asked about Easter Eggs in Joker. “I don’t do Easter eggs. Any Easter eggs anybody finds is a mistake. I don’t understand,” says Phillips. Joaquin Phoenix also addressed Easter Eggs in the same interview, noting that many fans and the press have noticed some of the clocks in the movie are set to 11:11. Phoenix had this to say about the clocks and Easter Eggs in general.
“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**king 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 sh*t.”
Joaquin Phoenix is referring to the myth surrounding The Beatles and Paul McCartney. The story goes that McCartney was actually killed in a car accident before the release of their 1966 album Revolver and the band hired a replacement lookalike to take his spot. Albums after the fact supposedly have hidden clues to prove this myth true. John Lennon played with it many times throughout his life for fun and to get fans riled up. When it comes to Joker, the 11:11 thing is nothing. “But that 11:11 is not an Easter egg to me,” says Todd Phillips.
Comic Book fans started to pick up on the 11:11 clocks in Joker and put together a theory that the movie takes place in Bizarro World and Arthur Fleck will ultimately become Batzarro. This is a wild theory and it is likely fun to speculate about, but it isn’t going to happen. Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix have stated since the beginning that Joker would stand on its own and be its own thing.
So there you have it. All of the supposed Joker Easter Eggs were not done on purpose and they are mere coincidence, at least according to Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix. But, who would know better than them? The movie is currently in theaters and has made $281.6 million globally in just one week. This weekend will likely see the Clown Prince of Crime top the box office for the second weekend in a row. The interview with Phillips and Phoenix was originally conducted by Collider.