When Matt Reeves' described to the world the deleted scene from The Batman, featuring The Dark Knight meeting up with the Joker in Arkham to talk about The Riddler, it became the holy grail of deleted scenes for a hot moment.
Luckily the scene has since been released and the world can finally see it for all its glory. Everybody has their opinion about it: Is it a good scene? Is Barry Keoghan's performance as The Clown Prince of Crime up to par with the best jokers?
However the biggest question is simply: Why has it been cut?
Well, Matt Reeves has revealed why in subsequent interviews. The director has explained that initially the Joker scene in the movie was also cut out, but eventually re-included to bolster the message of the ending. The more elaborate interrogation scene remained cut however, to not bog down the film too much.
An understandable reason from the good director. However, there could be more to this story, as hinted at in other interviews the director has made since. We live in a world where trivia about certain movies will be revealed only decades later as the Star Wars franchise can attest. There are other possible reasons that might exist and happened behind the scenes that cannot all be revealed by just one interview.
Let's explore those possibilities.
9. It Is Too Routine?
Matt Reeves knows his crime thriller film history. The Batman is a collection of it: The voyeuristic intro is a homage to Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, the overall tone is reminiscent of David Fincher’s nihilistic films, such as Se7en and Zodiac, and the batmobile chase is said to be inspired by car chase scenes like that from The French Connection.
It would not be too out of place, then, for a The Silence of The Lambs homage, referencing the scene where Clarice Starling regularly visits Hannibal Lecter in his prison cell, so he can advise her with a brilliant psychological evaluation of a serial killer. Like that sequence from The Silence of The Lambs, in The Baman deleted scene there is this lingering feeling that the one really in control is the guy trapped in the cell and there is barely any difference between the hero and the villain aside from the glass wall separating them.
As Matt Reeves' stated with his interview in Entertainment Weekly:
Because the movie is a serial killer story and I wanted Batman to be going down all these back alleys, I wanted him to turn to another serial killer in Arkham because he was so unsettled about why [the Riddler] would be writing him [and] he's trying to profile the character.
The problem is almost every filmmaker and their grandmothers have homaged this dynamic to death already. Every time the hero wants something out of a master criminal in a cell, Hannibal Lecter always springs to mind. The deleted scene of The Joker in Arkham is not exactly rocking the boat.
We already have so many of these. Why not just cut another one?