The Joker movie is now out in theaters, and is already a pop-culture icon, in just one week of release. Yes, it seems that this Halloween the streets will be filled with costumes based on Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck / Joker, while certain moments from the film will live on in memes and viral videos for years to come. Well, one aspect of Joker that you probably didn't expect to become a real-life development: that now iconic stairwell that Arthur Fleck had to scale every day - and famously danced his way down in full Joker makeup - is now officially being listed as a religious site, according to Google Maps!
Take a look at what Google Maps turns up, when you search for "Joker Stairs":
This isn't just an isolated cases, either. There's evidence that Google may be trying to alter these results, but we here at ComicBook.com managed to generate the same results in our own searches:
For context: Joker's staircase scenes were shot in the Highbridge section of The Bronx, NY, which is the geographical location shown in these Google Maps results. The staircase being renamed "The Joker Stairs" or "The Joker Stairway" may be the biggest claim to fame this area has, which begs the question: should Google even bother fighting this? The search engine company is well-known for riding trends in pop-culture, often changing their main Google.com search engine to reflect what's happening in the cultural limelight. This "Joker Staircase" seems like an easy (user-generated) pop-culture tie-in, one that could ultimately be good for New York City, as well.
NYC is already known for its wall-to-wall collection of famous film locales, and The Bronx is currently at the forefront of a major gentrification push. Highlighting famous modern film locales like these Joker stairs just seems like the right kind of forward-thinking move. The scene of Phoenix's Joker dancing his way down the stairs is not going to fade from memory any time soon, as it's not just a piece of instant cinematic iconography, it's also inspired real-life controversy. That's because the stairway dance scene is set to the tune of "Rock and Roll Part 2" by Gary Glitter - a UK rocker who fell from grace and was eventually arrested on dark child pornography charges. The debate over whether Joker intentionally highlights the dark realities behind pop-culture - or is simply giving royalties to a monster, has kept this particular scene alive in the zeitgeist.
Joker is now in theaters. Upcoming DC Movies include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2020.