Matt Reeves, director of The Batman, posted a mysterious tweet linked to the movie’s marketing website rataalada.com. That site has provided fans with riddles to solve, unlocking behind-the-scenes secrets from the film since it was released.
Today, fans found three riddles whose answers followed a particular theme: “Ha,” “Punchline,” and “Joker.” Solving them unlocked perhaps the most intriguing teaser so far: a deleted scene from the movie featuring a conversation between Batman and the Joker in Arkham Asylum.
Watch the scene below, then read on for all the details.
Matt Reeves had previously discussed the scene in multiple interviews, saying that while it was cool, it was ultimately unnecessary to the story of this movie and detracted from the threat of the Riddler. The Joker, played by Barry Keoghan, did appear at the end of the film’s theatrical cut in a cell beside Riddler, where the two become friends.
“It was just one of those things where, in the course of the movie, what that scene was doing, other scenes were also doing, and so we didn’t need the scene. But as a standalone, that scene is very eerie and creepy and cool.”Matt Reeves
See also: The Batman review
However, this deleted scene would have taken place halfway through the film. As the director describes, Batman tried to profile the Riddler and better understand his motives by consulting another serial killer. Of course, it’s apparent that Batman already has some history with this clown-faced figure, as he says it is almost their “anniversary.” Given that The Batman takes place in year two, it’s a good guess that they met during his first year fighting crime in Gotham.
“Because the rogues’ gallery are in their origins, I thought, here’s a way to do the Joker before he’s ever the Joker. In our version, he has this contact with Batman, before he becomes the Joker, before he takes on that moniker. But you can see all of the seeds of the Joker already there.”Matt Reeves
Mike Marino, the same artist who did the makeup, the Penguin, played by Collin Farrell, also crafted the makeup and design for the Joker. This incarnation of the clown prince of crime certainly seems to feature extensive facial disfigurement and is losing a lot of hair. As the director explains, this would have been a condition the character had lived with his entire life, slowly going insane by the “joke” that life itself has played on him.
“To me, what was interesting was doing the Elephant Man. The Conrad Veidt idea was that he had some kind of congenital disease, and he couldn’t ever stop smiling. Well, what if Joker has some kind of disease from birth where he’s marked by this horrific smile, and the world treated him in a certain way that created him. We had this nihilistic point of view that came with the fact that fate had played a joke on him since birth. Whereas the Elephant Man had this beautiful soul inside, Joker was turned into this gothic horror figure.Matt Reeves
Whether or not we will see Joker in the sequel is still up in the air. The scene simply intends to show that this version of Gotham is the beginning of many rogues’ gallery of characters coming into being, adding texture for fans of the franchise. But what do you think? Do you want to see Joker in the sequel, or perhaps in the upcoming Arkham Asylum spin-off series on HBO Max? Let us know in the comments below!