‘The Batman’ spoilers! Matt Reeves explains ending, surprise cameo

Spoiler alert: The following discusses the ending of new superhero movie “The Batman,” so beware if you haven’t seen it yet.

“The Batman” not only reintroduces one of the Dark Knight’s greatest foes but also gives him a fitting line: “Gotham loves a comeback story.” 

Riddler, a serial killer in prison who is currently being held by Paul Dano, watches as his evil grand plans to flood Gotham City are foiled on TV. Robert Pattinson’s Caped Crusader near the end of director Matt Reeves’ new superhero revamp (in theaters now). Afterward, he receives a morale-boosting pep talk in Arkham State Hospital, courtesy of a mysterious neighbor played by Barry Keoghan (“Eternals”), who’s officially credited as “Unseen Arkham Prisoner.”

But when you hear this strange dude’s high-pitched cackle, it’s obvious we’ve actually just met the latest iteration of the notorious Joker

Review:Robert Pattinson is the Dark Knight in “The Batman” and embodies that broody, brawny Dark Knight.

As Gotham City's superhero detective, Bruce Wayne (Rob Pattinson) is out to catch a puzzling serial killer in "The Batman."

“He is fantastic,” director Matt Reeves says of Keoghan, who gets just a minute of screen time – with the bottom of his face covered by a cell door – but makes the most of it.

“Isn’t that just terrible? Him raining on your parade like that?” this new Joker says to the Riddler. “One day you’re on top, the next you’re a clown. Let me tell you, there are worse things to be.”

When Dano’s villain asks Keoghan’s wild-haired, disfigured persona who he is, the Joker responds, “Riddle me this: The less of them you have, the more one is worth.”Riddler’s answers “a friend,” the two share a laugh to cement a blossoming criminal relationship.

Riddler and fellow Bat-foe Penguin (Colin Farrell) receive realistic reinventions in Reeves’ film, and the same goes with Joker, though like the others he’s not yet the infamous figure we know.

Reeves: Christopher Nolan explored “a really haunting thing”Never giving a reason. Heath Ledger‘s Joker scars in “The Dark Knight” – they’re just one of many unknowable aspects of an unstable villain. Other versions (like Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman”) have the Joker fall into a vat of acid or chemicals as part of his origin story.

It was scaryRobert Pattinson, the star of “The Batman”, embraces a superhero who’s “a mess”

Irish actor Barry Keoghan arrives for "The Batman" world premiere. He plays a new version of a notorious character in the film.

Reeves liked the idea of “a lifelong curse” and embraced a Joker akin to the Elephant Man, in this case “a guy who essentially had a degenerative disease where he could never stop smiling.”

“He had this horrible disfigurement and it had colored his worldview completely – he realized that his life in that way was a complete joke,”Reeves said. “It made him very nihilistic and attuned him to an insidious sort of incisiveness, of getting into people’s psychology, watching people being uncomfortable watching him and all of that.”

Reeves reveals there’s a “very cool” earlier scene he deleted from the movie’s final cut (but plans to release at some point) where Batman, unsettled by Riddler addressing his cyphers and puzzles to the hero personally, wants wants to get into a serial killer’s mind. He goes to Arkham to profile Joker. “like something out of ‘Manhunter,’ ”It’s evident that Batman placed him there.

Ranked:Every Joker big-screen (including Joaquin Phoenix).

“You realize this guy seems to have a lot of psychological insight and he really is getting into Batman’s head,”Reeves said. “He’s saying, ‘This is very interesting that you are resisting this idea, trying to understand why this guy’s writing you. I mean, aren’t you guys the same? You’re both masked avengers, right? Are you upset because he’s more righteous than you? He makes you look soft, is that the problem?’

“(Batman’s) like, ‘I don’t want to talk about me.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, you’re very interesting. I don’t know why you don’t want to talk about you.’ And that was really delicious.” 

‘The Batman’:All of the big-screen Dark Knights (including Robert Pattinson) are definitively ranked

Reeves insists Joker’s cameo appearance isn’t “a classic sort of superhero movie Easter egg” to say that he’s central to the next movie. Instead, the director wanted seeds to grow. “there’s this continuing danger that’s brewing” in Gotham City because of the power vacuum following the death of mob boss Carmine Falcone (John Turturro).

The conversation between Riddler and Joker “weirdly changed the stakes”For the next scene with Selina Kyle and Batman (Zoë KravitzCatwoman (also known as ) “The Batman” finale, where she’s heading out of town for good and wants Batman to come along. 

“When she says, ‘You know, this place is never going to change,’ you’ve just seen it’s never going to change,” Reeves said, “and it actually made that scene more poignant.”

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