The riddle of the post-credit scene has finally been solved as Warner Bros releases deleted footage from Matt Reeves’ The Batman, placing Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight and Barry Keoghan’s Joker front and centre a la Clarice-Hannibal Lecter.
The deleted scene was initially only available to view through the website rataalada.com – a reference to the portal utilised by Paul Dano’s Ed Nashton / Riddler to leave a trail of breadcrumbs – along with three new riddles to crack.
While the film’s theatrical cut limited Keoghan’s Joker to a single interaction with the Riddler in Arkham Asylum, leaving plenty of room for the audience’s imagination, this new morsel of content implies the former already has quite an established history in the Reeves universe. And a complicated relationship with his iconic vigilante half.
Ostensibly taking place earlier in the story’s chronology, as you’ll see above, Batman requests a face-to-face with Joker in hopes of gaining further insight regarding the Riddler’s psychology. Like we said before, heavy Silence of the Lamb vibes. The only detail more unsettling than how disfigured the Clown Prince of Crime appears – chemical burns, teeth, and all – is how easily he can cut Bruce Wayne down to size.
“I want to know how he thinks,” says Batman.
“You know exactly how he thinks… have you read his file?” counters Joker.
“You two actually have so much in common.”
In a poetic turn, this would actually prove to be right on the money. In the third act, during his own interrogation scene, we learn Nashton / Riddler is yet another product of childhood trauma – and an orphan as well, no less. To add another layer of complexity, it’s revealed that Nashton / Riddler has interpreted his dynamic with Batman as a twisted collaborative effort to cleanse Gotham City this entire time.
The Batman is currently screening in cinemas – check out the BH review here, the 5-minute deleted scene featuring Joker above, and the official synopsis below.
Two years of stalking the streets as the Batman (portrayed by Robert Pattinson), striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies — Alfred Pennyworth (portrayed by Andy Serkis), Lieutenant James Gordon (portrayed by Jeffrey Wright) — amongst the city’s corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens.
When a killer targets Gotham’s elite with a series of sadistic machinations, a trail of cryptic clues sends the World’s Greatest Detective on an investigation into the underworld, where he encounters such characters as Selina Kyle/Catwoman (portrayed by Zoë Kravitz), Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin (portrayed by Colin Farrell), Carmine Falcone (portrayed by John Turturro), and Edward Nashton/The Riddler (portrayed by Paul Dano).
As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans becomes clear, Batman must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit, and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued Gotham City.