‘Joker’: Will We Ever See Any Deleted Scenes?

Considering how dark Todd Phillips’ film is, Joker‘s box office performance has been unprecedented. In just a few weeks, the film is on its way to becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film in history. Anchored by Joaquin Phoenix’s performance, the DC Comics-based film has already attracted a larger-than-expected audience.

Its tale of a mentally ill loner plays more like a psychological thriller than your standard superhero fare. In fact, its many twists and turns have inspired much analysis and numerous interpretations from moviegoers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like fans can count on any deleted scenes to confirm or debunk their favorite theories.

Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips on the red carpet for 'Joker'
Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips on the red carpet for ‘Joker’ | Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Todd Phillips talks deleted scenes

Speaking with Collider, Phillips addressed the possibility of releasing deleted scenes for Joker.

“I hate f**king extended cuts. I hate deleted scenes … They’re deleted for a reason,” he said. “The movie that exists is exactly the movie I want it to be, and I will never show a deleted scene.”

Some moviegoers may be disappointed that we won’t be getting any new footage from Joker. Such an asset would have been able to clarify the true nature of Arthur Fleck’s disturbing story. Still, the finished film does lend itself to a wide variety of reads, a notion that is very much in tune with the Joker’s mystique.

No possibility of a ‘Phillips cut’

After all, many fans were initially dismayed that Warner Bros. was making a Joker film at all. In the comics, the character’s past is, for the most part, left vague. Even in The Killing Joke, the Joker claims he prefers his past to be “multiple choice.”

The Dark Knight also alludes to this with Heath Ledger’s Joker constantly changing the story behind his scars. So Joker‘s unreliability not only makes for a denser cinematic experience but has precedence in the source material.

The denial of an extended cut — or even any deleted scenes — puts Joker in stark contrast to another DC Extended Universe project. Unlike Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Joker does seem to represent the totality of Phillips’ vision. For better or worse, he got the chance to tell the story he wanted, which is ultimately the best fans can hope for.

Will we get more of Phoenix’s Joker?

Despite its polarizing effect on viewers, Joker is proving to be one of DC Films’ biggest hits to date. So, while Phillips may be reticent to release deleted scenes, that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of Phoenix’s Joker.

True, the actor is notoriously resistant to the idea of sequels and has indeed never appeared in one. However, he has publicly entertained the possibility of returning to the role. That alone feels like a major breakthrough.

Creatively, there is room to grow, should Phillips and Phoenix want to go that route. But more practically, there’s almost zero chance that the top brass at Warner Bros. isn’t trying to get a sequel in the mix as soon as possible. Such a project would be a guaranteed box office smash.

Although we don’t have any official word of a Joker 2, don’t be surprised if reports begin to trickle in sooner rather than later.