It’s perhaps a sign of the way movies are now marketed and released that even a big “event” blockbuster such as The Batman is using methods away from the big screen to tease its biggest selling point for the inevitable sequel. Warner Bros and Matt Reeves have been making much use of The Riddler’s website rataalada.com to expand upon the world we’ve seen in the three hour movie so far.
Now, they’ve released a five minute cut scene introducing Barry Keoghan’s Joker, who presumably will be the main villain in The Batman 2. And Matt Reeves has given a detailed and comprehensive backstory to The Joker in an interview with IGN. If you watched the cut scene, you will surely have noticed that Keoghan’s version of The Joker is horrifically scarred on a level not previously seen.
Rather than just having two neat lines extending his mouth into the signature Joker smile, this Arkham inmate has bumps and scar tissue all over his face and on top of his head, and even his hands seem affected. The prosthetic work is impressive and shows the work that went into the character, just for him to not feature in the finished film.
Reeves has told IGN that; “He’s got this congenital disease. He can never stop smiling. And it made Mike and I think about — I was talking about The Elephant Man because I love David Lynch. And I was like, well, maybe there’s something here where it’s not something where he fell in a vat of chemicals or it’s not the Nolan thing where he has these scars and we don’t know where they came from.”
Reeves continued; “What if this is something that he’s been touched by from birth and that he has a congenital disease that refuses to let him stop smiling? And he’s had this very dark reaction to it, and he’s had to spend a life of people looking at him in a certain way and he knows how to get into your head.”
Reeves concluded; “So this idea of him being very incisive and brilliant and being able to get into your mind and basically having this nihilistic point of view that’s like from his inception, from his birth, life has been a cruel joke on him. And this is his response, and he’s eventually going to declare himself as a clown, declare himself as the Joker. That was the idea.”
Whether any of this makes it into a Batman sequel remains to be seen, but clearly The Joker is going to be an important character, who has had a lot of time and thought put into him. There now seems little doubt that he will feature prominently in at least one future Batman film, if not more.
While we wait to hear more regarding The Batman 2, check out our guide to the Easter eggs you may have missed.