More than Metropolis is for Superman or Coast City is for Green Lantern and maybe even greater than New York City is for Spider-Man, Gotham City is a personality unto itself throughout the Batman mythos. And though the Dark Knight was nowhere to be seen, that high quality largely held true for the origin story of his best villain with Gotham turning Arthur Fleck into the Clown Prince of Crime in Joker. On the particular options of the movie’s digital launch, director Todd Phillips revealed which actual metropolis his Gotham was primarily based on, saying:
Before Joker was launched in theaters and earlier than we had actually seen something from it, the phrase was that the movie can be a interval piece set within the late ’70s or early ’80s, in step with its main influences Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. And though the movie itself doesn’t explicitly outline its time interval with a title card revealing the yr, director Todd Phillips had a really particular metropolis and time in thoughts: New York City in 1981.
The director, who was born in Brooklyn, primarily based the Gotham in Joker on the New York City of his youth and that’s what guided him whereas making the movie. He needed to recreate the feel and appear of the real-life metropolis of that point interval in Joker’s Gotham because the setting and conduit for Arthur Fleck’s descent into insanity.
In addition to being primarily based on New York City, Todd Phillips additionally shot Joker within the Big Apple. So in concept that made it simpler to recreate town from the 80s for Joker’s Gotham.
The Gotham we see in Joker is a run down and damaged metropolis with crippling revenue inequality and the place primary social providers are failing. Cruelty and apathy runs rampant in Gotham, giving rise to despair and violent revolt. As Todd Phillips says on the Joker particular options, he took lots of this from his reminiscence of New York in 1981.
Violent crime in New York and within the United States typically has fallen over the previous 25 years, however within the 80s and early 90s New York City was a really violent place. There’s really an article from The New York Times from February of 1981 calling the earlier yr the worst yr of crime within the metropolis’s historical past.
So it is sensible that Todd Phillips would base his Gotham on such a metropolis at such a time because it looks as if the sort of place a Joker may come from. Although simply because it’s primarily based on 1981 New York, doesn’t imply it’s 1981 New York. Todd Phillips didn’t need it to be particular throughout the movie itself, saying:
We’ve heard prior to now that Todd Phillips made Joker a interval piece to make a powerful distinction between his movie and the DCEU as separate entities and he reiterates that right here. But it’s additionally form of an Elseworlds factor, the place the story takes place in an alternate universe. Arthur Fleck isn’t the Joker, he’s simply a Joker on this alternate actuality model of the story.
New York City in 1981 or not, alternate universe or not, what Todd Phillips’ Gotham in Joker does higher than lots of true Batman movies is present the character and the individuals of Gotham City and what sort of place it’s. Gotham within the Christopher Nolan Trilogy, which was primarily based on Chicago, advised us rather a lot about how Gotham was a foul place however we didn’t see it, it simply regarded like a traditional metropolis. In Joker you’ll be able to actually see and really feel it and that’s one of many movie’s true accomplishments.