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The Batman’s Matt Reeves Explains Why He Cut That Joker Scene

Robert Pattinson as Batman in The Batman
(Image credit: DC Films)

Warner Bros. has been on a roll with its DC movies, set both within and outside of the main DCEU. Matt Reeves’ The Batman was in the latter category, and a sequel was recently confirmed by the studio at CinemaCon. Some fans are hoping this means we’ll see more of Barry Keoghan’s Joker, especially since the theatrical cut teased his role in the burgeoning franchise. Reeves recently explained exactly why he cut that additional Joker scene with Robert Pattinson.

In The Batman’s theatrical cut, Joker showed up at the very end once Riddler was admitted to Arkham Asylum. But Barry Keoghan and Robert Pattinson shot an additional cut scene, which could have occurred earlier in the movie as Batman is looking for information about Paul Dano’s villain. In an official WB clip from the director’s commentary, Matt Reeves explained why he made the difficult call to cut out that first Joker sequence. As he put it, 

When we were putting the movie together, this scene, even though I think that Barry and Rob did such a cool scene together, it was one of these things where narratively it wasn’t necessary. You got everything that Barry was telling him, that Joker was telling him, over the course of the movie and given the great length of the movie, it helped the story to take the scene out. But I always really loved the work that Barry and Rob did in the scene.

The man’s got a point. The Batman ultimately clocked in at a whopping 176 minutes when it hit theaters back in March. That's a ton of ground to cover, and there were already three villains to service throughout the movie. As such, Reeves decided to scrap the Joker’s potential first scene, which might have slowed down the action of the DC flick.

With a sequel officially greenlit, it feels like Matt Reeves could seemingly go anywhere with his version of Gotham City and its inhabitants. In addition to the movie follow-up that’s coming, the Planet of the Apes filmmaker is also working on a spinoff series on HBO Max. Could he single handedly be creating his own cinematic universe outside of the DCEU?

As a reminder, you can see the deleted Joker scene from The Batman below. While it didn’t make it to the theatrical cut, Reeves and company released the footage shortly after the DC movie was released in theaters. And like he said, Robert Pattinson and Barry Keoghan did some intriguing work in their brief scene together.

Since The Batman is set in Bruce Wayne’s second year as a crimefighter, there was already a built-in history upon going into the blockbuster. Part of said history is whatever landed Barry Kegohan’s character in Arkham Asylum. Perhaps we’ll see him actually rise as the Joker throughout the course of the upcoming sequel project.

The Batman is streaming now. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Corey Chichizola

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.