There’s a lot to process about Matt Reeves’ superhero noir The Batmanfrom its emo Bruce Wayne, to the built-in pet carriers on Catwoman’s motorcycle, to… well, everything Paul Dano’s doing as the Riddler. But as I’ve sat with everything I witnessed during the film’s (yes, very long) run, one thought has increasingly begun to haunt me: Are we really getting another Joker? Another?

(Spoilers ahead!)

Honestly, I was already struggling with the whole flooding Madison Square Garden segment of The Batman by the time we got to its most stunning reveal. We’ve already seen two movie Jokers in the past decade—Jared Leto debuted his Hot Topic-infused take on the character in 2016’s Suicide Squad, and Joaquin Phoenix took home for Best Actor for playing the chaotic clown in 2019’s Joker. And that’s saying nothing of Heath Ledger’s performance—which won the actor the same award posthumously after his tragic death in 2008—or Jack Nicholson’s celebrated turn in the 1989 version.

But in spite of these performances—not to mention TV’s recent Jokers—Reeves and company decided to send in another clown.

As The Batman comes to a close, we observe Paul Dano’s Riddler making a new friend from his cell at Arkham—a jokester sort whose cackle sounds awfully familiar. “What is it they say?” says the inmate—played by Eternals actor Barry Keoghan. “One day you’re on top. The next, you’re a clown.”

Reeves has already addressed the moment, which he swears is “not an Easter egg scene.”

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

Reeves said it was important to him to make sure his film stood out from all the other bat fare viewers have consumed of late. The Joker, he concedes, has “been done well, a number of times”—so he told Keoghan up front that he didn’t know when or if his Joker might return. Still, he hasn’t ruled out the idea of bringing the character back in some capacity.

“There’s stuff I’m very interested in doing in an Arkham space, potentially for HBO Max,” he said. “There are things we’ve talked about there. So it’s very possible. It also isn’t impossible, that there is some story that comes back where Joker comes into our world.”

How coy!

Should Keoghan eventually appear on TV as the Joker, he’ll be in good company. Gotham, the Arrowverse, NBC’s short-lived sitcom Powerless, and HBO Max’s own animated Harley Quinn series have each folded in their own take on the character already. That’s not to say there isn’t room for another one. But to what end?

At this point we’ve seen enough Jokers to last two lifetimes. Why not give Poison Ivy or some other member of the comics’ extensive Rogues Gallery their day in the sun? (Lake Bell’s take on the character in Harley Quinn is fantastic and demands a live action follow-up in this humble viewer’s opinion!) Or, hell, bring back Mr. Freeze—the point is, we have options!

It’s not just that various actors have tackled the Joker over and over and over again, often in quick succession, but that with each new take the character becomes more abstract. He’s already more meme than man now—a stand-in for chaos, or disillusionment, or misanthropy, or whatever word might best telegraph “bleak edginess.” How many more variations on this theme can we explore—and would any of those really be more fun than, say, giving Killer Croc a chance? Or Killer Moth? Or the Ventriloquist? I’m just saying, the character design on a feature film-scale Clock Man could be pretty sick. Haven’t we all seen enough green-haired clowns around Halloween to last a lifetime?

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.