Todd Phillips' Joker movie, which stars Joaquin Phoenix in the title role, has begun filming on location in New York City - and a prop map of Gotham's subway system offers a wealth of Easter eggs and references to DC comics and movies.
From what we've heard so far, Joker will be a story about the Clown Prince of Crime's origins as a failed stand-up comedian. It was inspired by Martin Scorsese's 1982 satire The King of Comedy, in which Robert De Niro played a wannabe stand-up comedian who becomes dangerously obsessed with a popular talk show host. It looks like Joker will be lifting a few plot elements from that movie, since the cast of characters includes a talk show host played by... Robert De Niro! Scorsese himself is one of the producers behind Joker.
Joker was filming at Bedford Park subway station in the Bronx this weekend, with a set video showing a chaotic scene with protesters and people dressed in clown costumes brawling while Phoenix's Joker (in full makeup) steps off a train and walks away. Included among the set dressing for the scene was the map below, which clearly lays out the version of Gotham City that we'll be seeing in Joker.
Starting from the top right of the map we have Kane County (a reference to Batman co-creator Bob Kane), where you can find stops for Adam's Drive (which could be a reference to Batman actor Adam West, or acclaimed comic artist Neal Adams), Starlin Avenue (named after comic book writer and artist Jim Starlin), Engelhart Boulevard (a nod to comic book writer Steve Englehart), Chiarello Drive (named after DC Comics editor Mark Chiarello), and finally Nolan Lane (a tip of the hat to Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan.
Some of the districts have obvious names, like the Financial District, Old Gotham, Gotham Square and Gotham Village, but there are some fun ones as well. There's Otisburg - a reference to a moment in Superman: The Movie when Lex Luthor's sidekick Otis tries to name a bit of land in Luthor's "New West Coast" after himself. Coventry and Bowery are both taken from the Arkham video games. Sheldon Park, Rogers, and Grant Field are presumably named after comic book creatives Sheldon Mayer, Marshall Rogers and Alan Grant, respectively. And then of course, there's the Snyder district, which could be a reference to either Batman V Superman and Man of Steel director Zack Snyder, DC Comics writer Scott Snyder (no relation), or both. Burnside and Amusement Mile are both locations lifted straight from the comics.
Many of the stop names are taken from real New York City subway stations, like Prospect Avenue and and Jefferson Street, but there are also some fun ones dotted around, like Jester Place and Wayne Avenue. Disturbingly, there's a stop that appears to be labeled Arthur Kill Road (the Joker's real name in the movie is Arthur Fleck).
Have you spotted any Easter eggs that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020