A deleted scene from Warner Bros’ recent blockbuster The Batman has been shared by director Matt Reeves. The scene features Robert Pattinson’s Batman meeting and interacting with the Joker inside Arkham State Penitentiary. The scene was eventually shot as part of the film’s first act but cut as director Matt felt Joker’s presence in the film may distract viewers from the actual villain- the Riddler (played by Paul Dano). Joker (Barry Keoghan) did make a brief appearance in the film’s post-credit scene where he is seen talking to the Riddler. Also read: The Batman review: Robert Pattinson, Matt Reeves’ film dives into the mind of the bat, and man, like no movie before it
The five-minute deleted scene was shared on YouTube in the form of an unlisted link by Warner Bros on Thursday. Matt shared the link on his social media later in the day. The scene opens with Batman visiting the Arkham to meet a mystery inmate. He hands over files about the Riddler’s crimes to the inmate, asking for their opinion of him. The inmate, all this while, is out of focus of the camera, not revealing her identity. But the subtle laugh, scarred skin, and blurred smile on the face hint at him being Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker.
The scene then descends into a to-and-fro between the Batman and Joker as the latter tries to unsettle the hero. “This has upset you,” he says to Batman, who retorts, “We’re not here to talk about me.” The interaction tells the viewer that the two already have a history in this universe and somewhat of a symbiotic relationship where they both need each other. As Batman gets annoyed and leaves, we see the Joker’s face in focus for the first time and he breaks out into his signature laughter from him.
Fans flooded the comment section with appreciation for the scene and in particular Barry’s portrayal of the iconic character. “Honestly, I need more of this. We all are in Arkham trying to get answers to complete ourselves,” one fan commented.
The Joker is one of the most iconic comic book villains and over the years, has been portrayed by multiple actors, from Jack Nicholson in the 1989 film Batman to Jared Leto in the 2016 film Suicide Squad. Both Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix won the Oscar for their portrayal of the character in The Dark Knight (2008) and Joker (2019), respectively.
Given such strong pedigree, fans were wary of Barry’s portrayal of the character utseem to love him now. One of the comments on the YouTube video read, “I honestly didn’t know how Barry Keoghan would be as Joker, but he’s perfect.” Another fan remarked how well Barry managed Joker’s signature laugh. “I also like how he and The Batman have history already. And Barry’s laugh was perfect! I hope we get more of him and Pattinson,” they wrote.
While some fans were annoyed that the scene was cut from the final version of the film, others argued it was the right call. One fan reasoned in the comments, “Well, I’m conflicted. The film flows perfectly with the story it has, and this scene would’ve taken the attention from Dano’s Riddler, which is why Reeves cut it out. However, that interaction was perfect. Batman is the Clarice to Joker’s Hannibal.”
The Batman released theatrically on March 4 to glowing critical reviews. The film also opened to a strong showing at the box office. The film has already earned over $600 million at the global box office in three weeks. The Batman also stars Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis, and John Turturro.