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The Batman’s Matt Reeves Explains His Version Of Joker’s Origin Story And Scars

Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne The Batman.
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

There have been a number of Batman movies over the years, thanks to the immense popularity of the Caped Crusader. The latest of these is Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which was set outside of the main DCEU. The movie had a trio of villains, but also featured the debut of Barry Keoghan’s Joker. And now Reeves has explained his Joker’s origin story (including those scars).

The Batman took place just 2 years into the crimefighting career of Robert Pattinson’s title character, and saw him interact with the likes of Riddler, Catwoman, and Penguin. But the Joker also made a surprise appearance, with an extended deleted scene of Mr. J. recently arriving online. Moviegoers are eager to see more of Barry Keoghan’s version of the villain, and learn more about his intriguing physical appearance. Matt Reeves opened up to Variety about this ideas for the Clown Prince of Crime, saying:

It's like Phantom of the Opera. He has a congenital disease where he can't stop smiling and it's horrific. His face is half-covered through most of the film. t'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 and he was cursed? 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.

Well, I’m interested. Clearly Matt Reeves has really put a ton of thought into his take on Joker for The Batman. Now let’s hope that Warner Bros. moves forward and officially green lights a sequel for the DC flick. But given it’s wildly successful box office run, a follow-up movie seems all but inevitable.

Matt Reeves’ comments to Variety shows how methodically he approached his work on The Batman, and its follow-up projects. He’s got a unique vision for Gotham City and its inhabitants, including the Caped Crusader’s most iconic foe. And this take on Joker is no doubt going to increase calls for a DC blockbuster sequel. Barry Keoghan’s screen time was simply too limited for the public to see this methodology play out.

In the theatrical cut of The Batman, Joker only appeared very briefly at the end of the movie. When Paul Dano’s Riddler is brough into Arkham Asylum he establishes a connection with the supervillain, who is in an adjacent cell. This scene quickly got the internet buzzing, but it turns out that there was more footage that didn’t make it to theaters.

Luckily for us, a deleted scene from The Batman was recently released that featured more of Barry Keoghan’s new Joker. It would have come much earlier in the film, revealing that the Clown Prince of Crime was already in custody after a confrontation with Robert Pattinson’s hero. As a reminder, you can watch that sequence below,

This new footage showed way more of Matt Reeves’ take on the Joker, and definitely helped to increase buzz surrounding The Batman’s possible sequel. But first the filmmaker will pivot his focus onto a spinoff series for HBO Max revolving around Colin Farrell’s Penguin. Clearly he’s got plenty of ideas for the burgeoning franchise.

The Batman is still in theaters now, although it was recently dethroned at the box office by The Lost City. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.