DC's Joker movie's stairs are becoming a real life tourist attraction. The controversial Todd Phillips film continues to draw in record-breaking box office numbers, and it’s safe to say at this point that Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the Joker has gained a following.
Though the fervor over the film has died down a little since its release, and the reviews are now more mixed, there’s no denying that Phillips and Phoenix have helped to take the iconic supervillain to a whole new level - one that makes past portrayals like those of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger seem a world apart. This isn’t to say that those portrayals weren’t as good as Phoenix’s, however, but merely that Phillips has created an entirely new way of looking at the character. Whether this newer, grittier and more realistic take on the superhero genre will catch on and become something that audiences can expect more frequently, remains to be seen. Right now all that’s certain is that there’s a sort of Joker mania taking place, and fans are looking for different ways of connecting with the character beyond the film.
This Joker fandom is evidenced in the sudden appreciation for what are commonly being referred to as “The Joker stairs”, which Phoenix’s character dances down in the film. The stairs are located in the Bronx, New York and as CNN has reported, many fans are turning up to snap a photo of themselves either busting their own dance moves down them or simply posing at what's quickly becoming a well-known pilgrimage site for Joker fans. Below are some of the most recent images of fans who've made the journey to the Bronx just for the Joker stairs:
Phoenix has previously stated that the dance moves he performs in this scene were a mix of choreographed steps as well as spur of the moment spontaneity. The routine has certainly gone over well, and is arguably one of the film’s most instantly recognizable moments, much in the same way as Ledger’s deranged driving of the police car in The Dark Knight has come to be one of that film’s most standout scenes. Yet at the same turn, Phoenix’s dance routine down the stairs was initially marred by the inclusion of convicted pedophile Gary Glitter’s 1971 song, Rock and Roll Part 2. Some would-be audience members even declared that they wouldn't pay to see the film, as they felt that Glitter would be financially profiting from the use of his song. Not long after the controversy began to build, however, it was revealed that Glitter would not stand to gain from any royalties on the song.
It’s doubtful that the popularity of these Bronx stairs is going to diminish any time soon, particularly if Joker does well at next year’s Academy Awards. For those who would like to take a trip out to the Bronx, the stairs are located at West 167th Street, which connects Shakespeare and Anderson avenues. For those who can’t make the journey to New York any time soon, Halloween is just around the corner, and it’s a safe bet that this year will bring a lot of people emulating the famed Gotham villain.
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