Editor’s Note: This post contains minor spoilers for The Batman.
We all have our scars, but it looks like the new Joker has more than most. Fans got a surprise glimpse of the latest cinematic incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime when Barry Keoghan cameoed as the Joker during a scene in The Batman. Turns out director Matt Reeves filmed a lot more of Keoghan’s character, and Warner Bros. has now shared some of that cut footage.
In the film, one of the Riddler’s (Paul Dano) riddles leads Batman (Robert Pattinson) to www.rataalada.com. Today, that website actually went live, with users being presented with a trio of riddles: “Once you’ve been set up, it hits you at the end. Straight on,” “To wit: A wild card in the truest sense,” and “It’s not a joke, but sometimes you need to shout it twice to really mean it.” Answer all three (with unlimited guesses), and you’re presented with the deleted scene.
(Spoiler if you want to solve them yourself, but the answers are “Punchline,” “Joker,” and “Ha.”)
The clip finds Pattinson’s nascent World’s Greatest Detective visiting Joker in Arkham. Keoghan’s villain notes it’s their “one year anniversary,” implying that he and Bats faced off during Bruce Wayne’s first year under the cowl. Batman is there to get Joker’s advice on the Riddler murders (because, as anyone who’s seen the movie knows, this Batman kinda sucks at detective work right now), but of course Joker uses it as just another opportunity to tease and torture the hero.
The Hannibal-Clarice dynamic is intriguing, but perhaps more interesting is the (purposefully out of focus) look at this version of the Joker. Reeves has apparently taken the character a step farther than Christopher Nolan and Heath Ledger’s iconic depiction. Instead of just his mouth, his head, face, and hands all appear horrifically bloody and scarred. After all, the comic origins of the villain have him falling into a vat of acid, and you wouldn’t expect to come out of that with just a white face and some dyed green hair.
It’s a much better — and creepier — look at the Joker than what we actually saw in the film’s final. There, we get a dark and sideways glimpse at him when Riddler gets locked in the next cell over and the two start giggling over their mutual hatred of Batman.
Whether Joker appears as a full-fledged advisory in Reeves’ The Batman sequel — or the Arkham Asylum HBO Max spin-off, for that matter — is to be determined. For now though, you can get a glimpse at Keoghan’s take on the character by either solving the riddles at the link above, or just watching the deleted The Batman scene below.