Joker was released earlier in October and has been the talk of the town. Most love its unique portrayal of the iconic villain, but some viewers and critics were unimpressed by the gritty take. Everybody agreed upon Joaquin Phoenix's performance being pure fire, however, and also appreciated the movie's willingness to do something different with a comic book property.
This version of Gotham was designed to look like New York City in the early '80s. To drive this point home, most of the production was filmed in the Big Apple, making it a special treat for long time New Yorkers. In the same spirit, here are ten details about Joker only New Yorkers noticed.
10 The Steps
Despite only being out for several weeks, a few scenes are already jumping out as especially iconic. One of these involves the titular character dancing on a large set of steps to the tune of "Rock and Roll Part 2" by Gary Glitter. Fortunately, the song's inclusion will see no royalties going to the former rock star, now incarcerated for sex crimes against minors. The more important detail about this scene are the steps, which are located on Anderson Ave and W 167th St in the Bronx. It's not private property either, so feel free to recreate the scene for some sick cosplay photo shoots.
9 Bedford Park Station
Several shots take place at Bedford Park Station, also located in the Bronx. According to some sources, some of the scenes here were shot at a Brooklyn train station made up to look like Bedford Park, but some of it was definitely filmed at the real location, too. The underground stop is home to the B and D trains, and it meets with the Bee-Line bus stops which can take one to Yonkers. Locals who saw the movie were undoubtedly disappointed at the lack of gigantic raccoons scrounging for food.
8 Subway Trains
Even the subway trains were made to look like the MTA's wagons, only with the logos changed to reflect Gotham City. The only difference one may notice compared to today's cars is the cleanliness. NYC trains today typically aren't covered with graffiti.
Rewind the clock thirty years, however, and one would find a notably different subway car covered in tags. In fact, the amount of vandalism on the wagons in Joker is minuscule compared to how they really were.
7 Twin Donuts
Arthur Fleck and Sophie Dumond have a scene in a donut shop while they are on a date. The name of the restaurant is Twin Donuts, which takes its moniker from a real business. The scene was filmed in a former Twin Donuts location, which had just closed down a few months prior to production.
It is unfortunate for the store, but it was serendipitous for the crew. The chain still exists, so anyone interested in trying out their donuts for themselves can find do so at any number of locations.
6 170th Street Station
One short segment sees Arthur Fleck exiting the 170th Street Station. This is a real location in the Bronx, home to the 4 train. This particular train takes people from that borough into Manhattan, passing landmarks such as Yankee Stadium and Grand Central Station. Thankfully, Joker's reign of terror steers clear of those iconic locations, but there is always a chance for disrupting a baseball game in a sequel. Anybody trying to use it after a Yankee game would probably go down the same path as Arthur Fleck.
5 Arkham State Hospital
Instead of being labeled Arkham Asylum, the mental hospital has a more realistic name. Arkham State Hospital's exterior shots were done at a real world location in Brooklyn, but it wasn't an institution. These angles were taken outside the Brooklyn Army Terminal. The complex was originally used for the Army, but now it is reserved for all general commercial uses. The archways are the structure's defining feature. The logo denoting it as the Arkham State Hospital were added in post-production, but everything else about it was left as is.
4 Jerome Avenue
Most of the action takes place in and around Jerome Avenue in The Bronx. Many of the previously mentioned subway stations are located on or near it, and a couple of the chase sequences sees Joker running down across the road.
The street is notable for the elevated train hovering constantly above. Living near it proves to be noisy, as a subway car passes every fifteen to twenty minutes — but no one should ever expect a quiet existence when living in the City That Never Sleeps.
3 Metropolitan Hospital In East Harlem
Several interior scenes of the Arkham State Hospital were said to be filmed at the real world Metropolitan Hospital in East Harlem. This wasn't the first time the location was used for a shoot, either. The medical drama TV series New Amsterdam also filmed there. The exterior can also be seen in the opening of the first teaser trailer.
2 Archway Under The Manhattan Bridge
This archway lightly featured belongs to the Manhattan bridge in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn. It may confuse some as to why the Manhattan bridge is in the neighboring borough, but it connects the two areas.
Underneath a bridge is generally not a place one wants to find themselves at night. Considering this is modeled after an older New York City, outside in general is not a place one should be after the sun goes down.
1 Early '80s
Long-time New York City residents can attest to the massive transformation their home has gone through over the past forty years. The city is safer for the most part, but also significantly more expensive and some would argue less interesting. Joker does a stand-out job transporting the city to the past for its interpretation of Gotham. Everything from the street signs, cars, and subway stations looks like it is from thirty-five years ago. The movie draws inspiration from several films shot in the city in the late '70s and early '80s, most notably Taxi Driver and King of Comedy.