Matt Reeves Teases the Joker’s Future in THE BATMAN Universe

Recently, The Batman director Matt Reeves released a deleted scene featuring Barry Keoghan’s Joker, much to fans’ delight. In a very Silence of the Lambs-inspired moment, Batman goes to Arkham Asylum, where he consults the incarcerated Joker on clues to discovering the Riddler’s true identity. It’s a full five-minute-long scene. So what does this all mean for the Clown Prince of Crime’s future?

In an interview with Variety, it’s clear that Reeves already has some ideas. And some of them might play out in the potential HBO Max Arkham Asylum series. Here’s what he had to say:

“It’s like Phantom of the Opera. He has a congenital disease where he can’t stop smiling and it’s horrific. It’s not about some version where he falls into a vat of chemicals and his face is distorted, or what [Christopher] Nolan did, where there’s some mystery to how he got these scars carved into his face. What if this guy from birth had this disease? He had this smile that people stared at that was grotesque and terrifying. Even as a child, people looked at him with horror, and his response was to say, ‘Okay, so a joke was played on me,’ and this was his nihilistic take on the world.”

From Nicholson to Ledger to Phoenix, every Joker in cinema seems to have his own unique backstory. This is fitting with the comics, where the character remembers multiple backstories for himself. Any or all could be true. But the question on everyone’s mind is, where are we going to see Keoghan’s Joker next? Well, it might be on the small screen. According to Reeves, “there’s stuff I’m very interested in doing in an Arkham space, potentially for HBO Max. There are things we’ve talked about there. So it’s very possible. It also isn’t impossible that there is some story that comes back where Joker comes into our world.”

Robert Pattinson's Caped Crusader questions Barry Keoghan's Joker in The Batman deleted scene.
Warner Bros.

It would be interesting if the Arkham Asylum spinoff series is indeed a prequel series to The Batman, and we could get an entire episode of how the Joker first met the Dark Knight and wound up locked up. Usually, they reserve that first meeting for a film, but why not do it on TV? And we’re going to assume when Reeves says it’s possible the Joker “comes into our world” simply means escaping Arkham and making life hell for Batman in a sequel. It would be a shock if The Batman franchise didn’t feature a bonafide Dark Knight vs. Joker confrontation of some sort. We’re just hoping it lives up to that deleted scene because that sure was a hell of a setup.

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