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Matt Reeves Has Something Important To Say About The Joker's Future In The Batman Franchise

The comic book character Batman, vigilante alter ego to billionaire Bruce Wayne, has seen many live-action adaptations over the years, with performers such as Michael Keaton, George Clooney, and Christian Bale taking on the role. The latest adaptation, titled "The Batman," came out this March to rave reviews. This time around, "Twilight" and "Tenet" performer Robert Pattinson took on the mantle of the Caped Crusader, with "Big Little Lies" star Zoe Kravitz assuming the role of Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman, and a supporting cast that included Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, John Turturro, and Jeffrey Wright.

One of the film's final scenes features the Riddler (Dano) in Arkham Asylum, where he's discovered to be sharing a cell block with another inmate with a distinctive laugh, played by Barry Keoghan. While the character is credited as "Unseen Arkham Prisoner," he has since been confirmed to be the iconic comic book villain the Joker. With many fans wondering what the character's appearance meant, the film's director and co-writer Matt Reeves has now spoken up. This is what he had to say about the Joker's future in "The Batman" franchise.

Reeves denied the character's appearance was an Easter egg

In the director's commentary for the film (via The Wrap), Matt Reeves commented on the scene, shooting down the idea that it was meant to indicate that The Joker would be who Pattinson's Batman might face in the sequel. Instead, it was meant to be more of a closure for the Riddler's arc.

"A lot of people ask me, 'Is this a set up for another movie?' and to be honest it really isn't ... the last we'd seen [the Riddler] he was saying 'Boom!' in his window as the bombs went off, and we hadn't yet seen him take in the fact that Batman had been able to pull things back from the brink," Reeves said, adding, "So that was critical, actually, to the ending of the movie and to the finishing of the Riddler's arc as well. What we'll do with these characters in the future remains to be seen, but it was never meant to be an Easter egg scene, to say like, 'Oh guess who we're using in the next movie.'" 

Reeves went on to add that the film felt thematically incomplete without this scene, as it also reinforces why Bruce chooses to stay in Gotham instead of leaving with Selina, even when she insists Gotham will never change. 

"...trouble is already brewing again," Reeves said. "That in this moment of the power vacuum that people are already scheming. When you took this scene out it didn't have that sort of same resonance and the idea that [Bruce] could go away with her seemed more reasonable and you thought, well gee why is he staying?"

While a sequel to "The Batman" has yet to be announced, the film's producer has said that it will be coming sooner rather than later, with many already speculating what storylines the sequel could possibly adapt from the comic books.