The Batman released earlier this month, but tidbits from the film have continued to drop on rataalada.com. Fans of the movie will remember the site plays a pivotal role in allowing Batman and Jim Gordon to communicate directly with the Riddler in order to learn about his next target. And now, the site’s led to a deleted scene from the movie. This deleted The Batman scene fully reveals Barry Keoghan’s Joker. Director Matt Reeves previously teased the scene, promising we’d see it eventually. And luckily, we didn’t have to wait long. We even got two versions, the full scene and the full scene with director’s commentary.
Five more minutes of Barry Keoghan excellence! While we only got a glimpse of the actor’s heavily shielded face inside an Arkham Asylum cell for a single scene, this deleted scene treats us to a whole lot more. Keoghan is one of the most exciting actors currently working. Nobody pulls off menacing quite like him. And this clip gives us five whole minutes of Robert Pattinson’s Batman going toe-to-toe with Barry Keoghan’s Joker.
Fans who visited rataalada.com had to answer a few riddles in order to unlock the deleted scene. (It is the Riddler’s website after all.) And the riddles’ themes heavily foreshadowed the clip to come. In the scene, Batman’s at Arkham Asylum looking for the Joker’s perspective on the Riddler. It’s immediately clear the pair know each other, although we don’t know the extent of it. Batman slides the Riddler file through the slot and picking it up, the Joker says, “It’s almost our anniversary, isn’t it.”
However, the Barry Keoghan’s Joker doesn’t necessarily give Batman the clarity he’s looking for. He points out that the Riddler “is a nobody who wants to be somebody,” highlighting how this vendetta is personal. However, he continues to taunt Batman by pointing out that the Dark Knight is missing the point in the file—how much the vigilante and Gotham City’s new serial killer have in common. (And to be fair, Bruce Wayne’s and Edward Nashton’s lives do have parallels.) This, naturally, is something the Caped Crusader is not interested in hearing.
In addition to the deleted scene itself, Warner Bros. has also released a director’s commentary of the clip. Here’s Matt Reeves’ vision of the interaction between these two iconic characters:
Reeves gives us a lot of insight into this moment between Keoghan’s Joker and Pattinson’s Batman. He outlines for us this very Hannibal Lecter-esque scene where Batman goes to the Joker to better understand the mind of a serial killer. This character, Reeves explains, is the Joker, but not yet the Joker. Reeves refers to him as the “Unseen Prisoner.” This character will become the Joker in time, but he hasn’t quite reached the place yet. He definitely has history with Batman, though.
The director’s commentary also allows us to delve deeper into the Joker. Reeves shares again thoughts on the origins of this version of the Clown Prince of Crime. He notes that Conrad Veidt’s Gwynplaine from The Man Who Laughs offers a critical inspiration. This Joker can’t help his vicious smile. He has been marked by events in his childhood. And these events have informed his life. He has no belief in the goodness of people, but instead an insidious understanding of how they behave.
Meanwhile, Reeves notes that Batman, in a sense, shares an understanding with the killers he hunts. He feels the people the Riddler hurt received just desserts. But that way of thinking doesn’t feel acceptable to him, so he pushes it away. A struggle we will surely see continue should The Batman get a sequel. Although narratively, this scene ultimately didn’t add much, it sure feels fun to see.
Interestingly, Barry Keoghan first auditioned for the role of Riddler before landing Joker instead.
Now watch @BarryKeoghan‘s audition for Matt Reeves’ The Batman. This one got him the role of Joker. pic.twitter.com/vOPsKRdoid— British GQ (@BritishGQ) October 3, 2022
In the final cut, we never get a good look at Keoghan’s Joker, which only adds to the mystery of who this spooky prisoner is. But in this deleted scene we get a better look at the Joker, even if it’s still a bit blurred and shadowed indicating that the Joker has not fully formed. Even blurry, he looks incredible. We’ve talked a lot about Colin Farrell’s transformation into Oswald Cobblepot and how well the makeup and prosthetics came together. But wow is Barry Keoghan’s transformation into the Joker impressive. From the hair to the scarring, it perfectly complements Keoghan’s manic, terrifying energy.
Originally published on April 4, 2022.