Joker Bathroom Scene

Right around the time Joker hit theaters, star Joaquin Phoenix revealed that the movie had some “radical changes” to the script that took place throughout production. Now, thanks to director Todd Phillips, we have an idea of how the Joker bathroom scene in particular was changed significantly from the original script. In fact, this change made the scene infinitely better, because the original scene in question was a lot more ham-fisted than what ended up in theaters. 

Screenplayed posted the scene on Twitter along with commentary from Todd Phillips and the original script with it:

Todd Phillips explains that the original script had Arthur panicking as he came into the bathroom, hiding the gun he just used to commit his first murders, and starting at himself in the mirror, asking himself, “What have I done?” Pretty hokey stuff, if you ask me.

Thankfully, Phillips and Phoenix talked about this scene before they were ready to shoot and agreed that this didn’t feel like something Arthur would do. After an hour of playing around and trying to come up with something that made sense, Phillips had the idea to play a piece of composer Hildur Guðnadóttir‘s score to try and inspired something. Phillips said:

“[Joaquin] just starts doing this dance, and we looked at each other and knew it was the scene. It made sense to us… it’s a little bit of Joker coming out.”

The Joker bathroom scene plays out in a much more haunting fashion in this way. Instead of feeling guilt or remorse, Arthur Fleck revels in what he’s done with an interpretive dance. It’s almost as if the music is playing in his head along with all the insane thoughts that are starting to drive his behavior.

It’s fascinating to hear how one of the more haunting scenes of the film wasn’t even something that was planned from the beginning. It also goes to show you how much freedom there was for Phillips and Phoenix to make this into whatever they wanted without much interference from the studio and no comic book to strictly adhere to. That may have also resulted in the film’s lack of focus on what it’s trying to say, but at least it allowed for some creativity to come through on screen.

Joker is playing in theaters everywhere right now.

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