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The Batman director Matt Reeves promised fans that we'd see a deleted scene between Batman and the Joker. And he finally delivered it.
On Thursday, Warner Bros. used their YouTube channel to reveal the much-talked about excised scene where the Dark Knight (Robert Pattinson) goes to Arkham in search of help profiling Gotham City's newest villain, the Riddler (Paul Dano). Batman pays a visit to a glass cell containing what will be his greatest enemy: Joker (The Eternals' Barry Keoghan).
Shot in tight, grimy close-ups and with Joker's scarred face and craggy green hair largely out of focus, Batman arrives with a clue just in time for the nemeses' one-year anniversary. From there, the two parry and joust with pointed barbs that imply one hell of a confrontation must have went down a year ago. But is was formative enough in this "Year Two" Batman's crime fighting career to have him seek out one rogue from the gallery to help catch another.
The tone and vibe of the scene is (shocker) very Mindhunter meets David Fincher's Se7en, with the latter film and its director having a significant influence on The Batman's script and visual palette. (The movie even lifts a very famous scene from Seven, when Batman and Jeffrey Wright's Jim Gordon pull a Detectives Mills and Sommerset and inspect Riddler's dank and empty apartment that's full of murder journals and notebooks similar to those that serial killer John Doe kept in Fincher's 1995 hit.)
This captivating sequence would have been a fun, fan-service-y beat in the final film, but the filmmakers were wise to cut it from their already three-hour movie. If fans react promisingly to Keoghan's take on Joker, however, then maybe we'll see more of the Clown Prince of Crime in future films.
Watch the clip below and see for yourself.
The Batman is now playing in theaters everywhere.