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WIRE Buzz: Joker's Catwoman Easter egg; His Dark Materials title sequence; more

By Matthew Jackson
Joker Joaquin Phoenix

One of the greatest assets Joker had as it brought a new vision of the title character to the big screen was the chance to present a fully-realized and very different version of Gotham City to the viewer. Director Todd Phillips' decision to root the film in a '70s crime drama aesthetic gave the cast and crew the opportunity to pack the film with little details that other comic book adaptations might never have the opportunity to explore, and a month after the film's release we're still noticing new ones. 

To help us out with that, Phillips just dropped a bunch of new behind-the-scenes photos from the film — now the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time thanks to strong early buzz and continued word of mouth — to his Instagram page. A lot of them are what you'd expect: Shots of star Joaquin Phoenix in various stages of makeup, shots of camera setups in cramped rooms, and shots of Phillips himself working with his cast. There are also a couple of prop close-ups, though, including one of Arthur Fleck's laminated card that lets strangers know about his condition, and one particularly intriguing spread from Arthur's demented little journal. 

In the film, the journal is ostensibly Arthur's joke book, and he does indeed use it to take notes on his stand-up comedy process. As time goes on, though, it becomes clear the notebook is a repository for his slowly unraveling mind, which means a lot of the pages are nonsense. In his latest Instagram post, Phillips included a shot of a notebook page that featured the word "step" written over and over, surrounding two images. One of these images is a cat/woman hybrid using a ball of yarn as a whip. Selina Kyle doesn't appear in Joker, of course, but even casual DC Comics fans can follow what they filmmakers are winking in the direction of here. Check it out in the Instagram post below.

His Dark Materials, the much-anticipated BBC and HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman's beloved fantasy series, finally premiered in the UK Sunday night, and it's off to a solid start. Deadline reports the series drew 7.2 million viewers in its BBC One timeslot, and Monday night it'll have the chance to put up impressive numbers on the other side of the pond as it premieres for American audiences on HBO.

Sadly, we still have a few hours left to wait before we can see His Dark Materials here in the States, but there are a few tidbits floating around to tide us over. In celebration of the UK premiere on Sunday, the BBC released the opening title sequence for the series on YouTube. It's a dazzling sequence featuring copious use of the mysterious particle known in Pullman's world as "Dust," and by the end it's served to further highlight the parallel universe concept at the heart of the story. Check it out:

Viewers who are familiar with Pullman's novels will no doubt pick up more than a few small visual nods in the direction of the future of the story as well, but we'll leave those unspoken for those who don't want to be spoiled. 

If you're still looking for more stuff to tide you over until you can see Episode 1, HBO's got you covered there. The American home for the series dropped two new featurettes online Monday featuring stars Dafne Keen (Lyra) and Ruth Wilson (Mrs. Coulter) discussing their characters. 

His Dark Materials premieres on HBO tonight at 9 p.m. EST.

We've known that a third film in the Jurassic World phase of the iconic Jurassic Park franchise was on the way for quite some time, but things got much more exciting on that front back in September when it was revealed that Sam Neill and Laura Dern — who played Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the original film — would join their old Jurassic Park pal Jeff Goldblum in returning to the franchise for the third World installment. Now, we've got a better idea of when the reunion will really be taking shape. 

In an interview on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show in the UK last week, Goldblum revealed that he's expecting to be in the United Kingdom in just a few months to kick off filming on what director Colin Trevorrow has begun referring to as "Jurassic Park 6."

"I guess those dinosaur movies are kind of scary," he said when asked about the films in his career that qualified as Halloween fare. "And we're gonna do another one of those around these parts come this summer. I'm gonna be here shooting with Laura Dern and Sam Neill and Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Colin Trevorrow is the great director. He's going to be writing and directing it, and I can't wait."

Jurassic World 3 is set to hit theaters June 11, 2021, but now that Goldblum has clarified the production start date we know we can expect Jurassic Park reunion photos in just a few months.