Joker director Todd Phillips revealed the fate of Zazie Beetz’s Sophie was made clear in a deleted scene.
Sophie’s fate has been one of the biggest questions coming out of Joker, with fans discussing whether or not the lead character killed the woman he imagined to be his girlfriend. Todd Phillips, the film’s director, has gone on record about what happens to Sophie. In a new interview, he sheds light on a deleted scene that would have placed any debate to rest.
For those who felt the fate of Zazie Beetz’s Sophie was unclear, Todd Phillips confirmed she survived the film and explained that this incarnation of the Joker only harms those who have wronged him:
“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.”
As for why he cut the scene, Phillips explained his view of not wanting to take the focus away from Arthur’s perspective during those crucial moments with Franklin. Given that Arthur ultimately shoots and kills Murray, the decision to leave out Sophie makes sense. Murray’s death is ugly and utterly senseless. It would have been distracting, perhaps, from a narrative standpoint, to overtly show that there are people Arthur won’t kill. As Arthur suggests, in a scene where he spares the life of a coworker, he remembers those who are kind to him and treats them accordingly.
Although keeping the scene in the movie would have answered one question, it would have raised others. But Sophie’s now confirmed survival means the character could return for any potential Joker sequel. In her limited time on screen, Beetz leaves a strongly positive impression. Perhaps that could be expanded upon in future appearances.