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Major spoilers ahead for Joker.
It's been over a month since Joker hit theaters, but the conversation around the psychological origin story hasn't slowed down. Director Todd Phillips crafted an unsettling vehicle for Joaquin Phoenix, one that was barely connected to the comics. Instead new characters were introduced to audiences, like Zazie Beetz' Sophie Dumond. Sophie's fate was left ambiguous in the theatrical cut of Joker, although Phillips has finally confirmed what happened to the single mother from Gotham City.
Sophie and Arthur Fleck's relationship was the only kindness he found in the world, but the third act of Joker revealed that it was all a delusion of his declining psyche. Sophie asked him to leave her apartment, but we never saw how their conflict ended. As such, moviegoer have debated whether Arthur killed her, or if she was spared like his co-worker Gary. Now Todd Phillips has given an unequivocal answer on the subject, saying:
He doesn’t kill her, definitively. As the filmmaker and the writer I am saying he doesn’t kill her. We like the idea that it’s almost like a litmus test for the audience to say, ‘how crazy is he?’ Most people that I’ve spoken to think he didn’t kill her because they understand the idea that he only kills people that did him wrong. She had nothing to do with it. Most people understood that, even as a villain, he was living by a certain code. Of course he didn’t kill this woman down the hall.
Well, that's a relief. It looks like after all the discussion about Sophie's fate, she was ultimately spared by Arthur Fleck as he became the Clown Prince of Crime. At least one character in Joker gets a relatively happy ending.
Todd Phillips' comments to Indie Wire are sure to make many moviegoers happy. Todd Phillips ultimately left it unclear whether or not Zazie Beetz' character and her daughter made it out of their encounter with The Joker. But even the iconic villain had a code of his own, and was only shown killing people that had wronged him in one way or another. Sophie simply didn't fall into that category.
The twist about Sophie was a great way to keep the audience on their toes, and proves what an unreliable narrator Arthur Fleck is. And once his access to medication and therapy are taken away, things take a steep decline. Arthur never spend any time with Sophie, despite the couple being shown on dates, in the hospital, and around Gotham City. So when he entered her apartment via its open door, she was visibly distressed.
But the theatrical edit of Joker ultimately didn't show the end of their interaction, or how Arthur left the apartment. We're instead shown him in the hallway, with the ambiguity of their conflict helping to build the tension and stakes of the movie. But after much discussion, Todd Phillips was kind enough to offer a final verdict.