Matt Reeves' The Batman is making the rounds in movie theaters worldwide, already having started one of the best box-office runs for DC in a long time. Going deep into the Caped Crusader's rogues gallery, this solo film threw Robert Pattinson's hero into the ringer quickly against Carmine Falcone, the Penguin, and the Riddler. And that was before fans learned that this universe already has a Joker in play as well.
While the Clown Prince of Crime only had about a minute of screen time in his Arkham Asylum cell, it's clear that this new Joker is not to be taken lightly. The scene may have been dark, and fans may have only seen a hint of his facial scarring, but Barry Keoghan's fear-inducing laugh and dialogue set the stage for pure madness in future outings.
Warner Bros. and Reeves have kept their cards close to the chest in regard to that future, even though a major villain like the Joker can't be ignored. Reeves did, however, look into part of Pattinson's first days as Batman while teasing some deleted scenes that fans will hopefully see in the next few months.
Matt Reeves Shares Deleted Joker Dialogue
In an interview with Cinema Blend, The Batman director Matt Reeves touched on deleted scenes and dialogue featuring Barry Keoghan's Joker. This also included his place in the overall story for Robert Pattinson's hero.
Reeves revealed that there was originally another scene in Arkham Asylum that showed Batman going to the Joker "in order to profile the Riddler," along with more material featuring the Penguin and Catwoman. While he teased that these moments will probably be released as deleted scenes, he's proud of the cut of the movie that ended up in theaters, which was "the one that (he) intended:"
"There’s another Arkham scene that involves the unseen prisoner that you see near the end of the movie, and Batman goes to him in order to profile the Riddler, because he’s being written to. So that’s a scene that I’m really excited about, and there’s a really cool seen with Colin (Farrell), with Penguin, where you see Selina (Kyle) goad him, and you get a little glimpse into a little more of his character. So those are scenes that I think we’ll probably release in some way as deleted scenes, but they’re not a part of some cut. This is the cut I wanted to make, and the one that’s in theaters is the one that I intended, and I’m really grateful that Warner Bros. let me do that."
This led to a question about who Batman would have seen in Year 1 of his story, to which Reeves gave an answer including Barry Keoghan's Joker.
Almost confirming that the "unseen prisoner" in the final scene is the Joker, Reeves shared that the villain already has a relationship with Batman. Part of that includes a line of dialogue where the prisoner tells Batman "It’s almost our anniversary, isn’t it?" as they go into what's happening with the Riddler:
"Well, you know, the unseen prisoner is one of the characters that he would’ve confronted in Year 1, and that’s how he ended up there. So they have a relationship. One of the lines from the scene that’s not in is, that unseen prisoner says to him ‘It’s almost our anniversary, isn’t it?’ And you realize that they have a relationship that exists before that character, who is the character that you think he is, before that character becomes that character. He hasn’t yet declared himself that character, but they have a relationship that begins very, very early, and…they’re sort of intertwined with each other in a very specific way."
Year 1 - Batman Defeated the Joker?
Almost no hero/villain dichotomy is more famous than that of Batman and the Joker, who have faced each other countless times over Batman's 80-year history in popular media. Seeing him already in Arkham Asylum during Robert Pattinson's movie, it only makes sense that they've already encountered each other shortly after Bruce Wayne started his superhero career.
This deleted scene would have integrated Keoghan's Joker a little more into the plot of this story rather than setting him up for the future, although it helped focus things on Paul Dano's Riddler more as well. Even so, it's abundantly clear that this iconic villain is part of Reeves' Batman universe, and their ties will certainly see screen time no matter when the Joker comes back.
In the end, the director confirmed that this movie was the one that he wanted to make, regardless of the other routes the story could have taken. It will likely be a few years until fans see an expansion on this DCEU-adjacent narrative, but there's little doubt that the Joker will play some role in that future story.
The Batman is now playing in theaters worldwide.