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The Batman Cinematographer Reveals Why Joker's Scene Is So Difficult to See

Batman, Joker, Barry Keoghan, DCU
By Russ Milheim

The Batman has finally hit theaters worldwide, and audiences are absolutely loving it. In fact, not only has Matt Reeves' film been getting positive reception but it’s become the second-best performing project in theaters since the pandemic started. It seems that Robert Pattinson’s Batman is already set to become an iconic interpretation of the character.

There’s a lot to love about this new incarnation of Gotham’s Protector. Whether it’s Pattinson’s brooding Caped Crusader, Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman, or Paul Dano’s Riddler—Reeves’ take seems to have found a winning formula.

One of the most common points of praise of the film is undoubtedly its visuals. The cinematography is excellent, and every frame is a painting. Now the man behind the camera has spoken out about the film - more specifically about the brief closing scene in Arkham Asylum.

Obscuring the Joker

Joker, Batman
DC

In an interview with The Wrap, The Batman cinematographer Greig Fraser commented on that mysterious figure in Arkham Asylum and why audiences weren’t able to get the best look at him.

Fraser stated that he “can’t comment on who it is,” but went on to say that “sometimes seeing too much can distract from some of the beauty or joy of watching films:”

“I can’t comment on who it is, but this Gotham is a bubbling cesspool of crime, isn’t it? So giving a little kiss or an introduction of who else may be living in this prison. I mean, what a fantastic opportunity to do that. And again, going back to the adage of you don’t want to see too much. You never want to see too much. Sometimes seeing too much can distract from some of the beauty or joy of watching films.”

Would Fraser be up for another adventure with the Dark Knight? The cinematographer exclaimed how he “loved the process” and that there are certainly “more stories to be told:”

“I mean, I loved it. I loved the process. I love Matt as a director. So I mean, you can take whatever you want from that. I mean, there’s more stories to be told in this place. You know? There’s more things to do. There’s more opportunities there. This is why it’s such a fantastic world to be in, because it’s a great opportunity to explore this world.”

The Batman’s Excellent Visuals

It’s a little strange how Fraser won’t confirm that the shadowy figure in Arkham is, in fact, the Joker. Though, it’s possible this interview was conducted before Matt Reeves confirmed it himself. Even the actor himself, Barry Keoghan, has spoken about his time on the project.

Even stranger is how he feels that seeing the Joker in full would be distracting or take away from the joy of the scene. The scene's context all but confirms who it is anyhow; the wide smile is visible, his monologue is very fitting for the clown, and the laugh is a dead giveaway. There isn’t much mystery being kept.

Maybe the real reason he was in the shadows is likely to not commit to any design or specific visual interpretations for the character since his role is so brief. However, Reeves has talked about another scene with Mr. J and Batman that was seemingly filmed, so they’d have had to theoretically nail down some absolutes.

Either way, while fans may be sad to learn that the Clown Prince of Crime isn’t a guarantee for the sequel, no doubt he’ll make his grand return at some point in the future.

The Batman is playing in theaters worldwide.


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