One of the ways The Dark Knight changed the game for superhero movies in 2008 was through its innovative viral marketing strategy. Taking full advantage of nascent social media platforms, Nolan’s Batman sequel used the internet to immerse fans in the world of Gotham. Matt Reeves’ The Batman has been taking a similar approach in its use of the internet to market. And today’s reveal is the culminating event it’s all been building toward.
Spoilers for The Batman will follow.
Now in its third week in release, with no signs of slowing, The Batman is not done giving its fans what they want. For weeks now, a viral website which has a prominent role in the movie, has been posting ciphers based on those of the Riddler’s for fans to dissect since before the film was released. Once solved, these clues led folks to never before seen images or easter eggs from the movie.
The big reveal from today’s set of clues is one Reeves himself has been teasing for weeks. In discussing Barry Keoghan’s brief cameo as Unnamed Arkham Prisoner, the director revealed there was a complete scene between Keoghan and Pattinson that was shot and completed, but deleted before the picture was locked. Well, we have that scene now, and it’s no question that Keoghan is definitely the Joker.
See for yourself below:
While the Joker scene that did make the cut felt a little superfluous and unnecessary, this one could have been a welcome addition. That said, I understand why this one hit the cutting room floor, ultimately. At three hours, the movie was already stuffed to the brim, and as effective as this scene is, it wasn’t necessary to advance the plot. But it is a great scene nonetheless, and Keoghan has what it takes to add to the long Joker legacy on film.
In fact, I’m hoping that the main reason Reeves cut this scene is because the plan for The Batman II will involve the Joker, but not in the way he’s been used in most Batman films. Instead of being the main antagonist, I’d like for this dynamic of Batman consulting with Joker to profile the killer to be the basis of the next movie. In other words, if The Batman is a direct descendant of films like Chinatown and Seven, I want Batman II to pay homage to Manhunter and Silence of the Lambs where Joker is Hannibal Lecter.