‘The Batman’ Director Confirms Surprise Villain Won’t Return for Sequel

The Batman ending featured a surprise character that left fans speculating what comes next. But writer-director Matt Reeves revealed that he has no plans on bringing this iconic Rogues’ Gallery villain back.

[Spoiler alert: this article contains spoilers for The Batman.]

Robert Pattinson smiling
Robert Pattinson | Lia Toby/Getty Images

‘The Batman’ ending reveals the hero may have already defeated the Joker

The Batman picks up with Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) in his second year as Gotham’s masked vigilante. The hero tracks down the Riddler (Paul Dano), a serial killer murdering high-profile politicians to uncover the cities corruption. 

In the final scenes of The Batman, the Riddler ends up in an Arkham cell. And as he mourns his defeat, the killer hears the voice of a nearby inmate. 

“What is it they say?” the inmate asks the Riddler. “One day you’re on top. The next, you’re a clown.” 

From the brief glimpse of the inmate’s creepy grin and obnoxious laugh, it is clear that he is none other than the infamous Joker. Ending credits reveal that the villain is played by Eternals’ actor Barry Keoghan.

Matt Reeves doesn’t plan on bringing the Joker back for a ‘The Batman’ sequel

The Batman ending scene feels like it’s setting up a friendship between the Riddler and the Joker. But fans may never get to see that connection blossom on screen. Because, according to Reeves, there are no plans to bring Keoghan’s Joker back for a sequel.  

“It’s not an Easter egg scene,” he told Variety. “It’s not one of those end-credits Marvel or DC scenes where it’s going, like, ‘Hey, here’s the next movie!’ In fact, I have no idea when or if we would return to that character in the movies.”

“I never was trying to say like, ‘Hey, guess what, here’s the Joker. Next movie!’” he Reeves added. “The idea was more to say, ‘Hey, look, if you think that trouble is going to go away in Gotham, you can forget it. It’s already here. And it’s already delicious.’”

‘The Batman’ deleted scene featured the Joker meeting with Batman

There’s actually a pretty good reason Reeves included that ending scene with the Joker. In his chat with Variety, the filmmaker revealed that the cameo was supposed to accompany a now-deleted scene from earlier in the film. 

In the deleted scene, Batman wonders why the Riddler is sending him messages. So to get into the villain’s head, he pays a visit to a killer he sent to Arkham. 

The inmate turns out to be the Joker. And during their discussion, the Joker and Batman keep trying to get into each other’s heads. 

“[The Joker] says, ‘It’s almost our anniversary, isn’t it?’” Reeves revealed. “You realize that they have a relationship and that this guy obviously did something, and Batman somehow got him into Arkham.”

When Batman asks the Joker about the Riddler’s possible motivations, the villain implies he’s a lot like the hero. “What [the Joker is] really doing is getting into Batman’s head,” Reeves explained. “And [Batman] is resisting this idea violently. And so that’s what that scene was. It was a scene to unsettle him.”

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