One of the best scenes in Joker happens somewhere in the middle when the unhinged Arthur Fleck walks into his lover, Sophie’s apartment. Except, in a shocking turn of events, Sophie (Zazie Beetz) asks Arthur who he is and why he’s in her apartment. She tells Arthur she has a kid and that she’s scared. It’s then revealed that the entire relationship between Arthur and Sophie just happened in Arthur’s mind. We then see Arthur leave the apartment as Hildur Guðnadóttir’s spine-chilling score starts roaring in the background. We then see Arthur in his own apartment, laughing, and hear the sound of sirens in the back. This left most of us wondering: “Did Arthur kill Sophie?”
Previously, Joker cinematographer Lawrence Sher mentioned that Sophie is indeed still alive. But now, we’ve got a definitive answer from the director himself. In an interview with IndieWire, Todd Phillips said:
He doesn’t kill her. Definitively. As the filmmaker and the writer, I’m saying he doesn’t kill her. We like the idea that it’s almost like a little bit of a litmus test for an audience to say, ‘OK, well how crazy is he?’ And most people that I’ve spoken to think he didn’t kill her because they understand this idea that he’s only killed people that did him wrong, so to speak. That have fucked him over. She had nothing to do with it. Most people understood that he was living by – even as a villain – a certain code. We thought when he kisses Gary on the head, the little actor, and he runs off, he clearly has a code he lives by. Of course he didn’t kill this woman down the hall and her child.
In the same interview, Phillips also talks about a deleted scene that sees Sophie watching the Murray Franklin episode where Joker shoots Frankling (Robert DeNiro) on air. Phillips explains that the reason the scene is removed is because the entire narrative is told through Arthur’s perspective and that switching to someone else’s point of view (i.e. Sophie’s) would alter the very DNA of Joker.
JOKER is currently playing in Malaysian cinemas.