The Batman Director Matt Reeves Digs Deep Into Batman Returns, The Dark Knight, And His New Batman

Matt Reeves (The Batman) reveals his thoughts on his favorite cinematic Batman characters including Pfeiffer's Catwoman, Devito's Penguin, and Ledger's Joker, before explaining how Robert Pattinson's Batman will stand apart.

Matt Reeves on Christopher Nolan’s Joker

While two of the most notable supervillains in Batman’s rogues gallery will make their return to the big screen in the 2021 blockbuster. His most iconic villain, The Joker, will not be making an appearance. Reeve’s may have revealed part of the reason as to why that is while speaking about Heath Ledger’s time in the role. 

“The Dark Knight is so incredible and I think that Heath Ledger’s performance and their conception of the Joker in that movie is indelible. And the battle that he engaged with, you know, with Batman/Bruce is incredible…But the thing you take away from it more than anything is that conception, specifically, I think of the Joker. That movie is so much about how it’s a horrifying thing to stare into the abyss, that idea of that level of nihilism. The whole idea that there was nothing you could do because even in the destruction of him, you were fulfilling his aims. It was just a terrifying notion that speaks to an aspect of human nature and that was really profound.”

Many fans consider Heath Ledger’s Joker to be the character’s cinematic peak, completely insurmountable, and it seems that Reeves feels the same way. The Joker was a true force of nature in The Dark Knight, a terrifying beast that personified nihilism. His astonishing performance was so extremely impactful that any reboot to follow is destined to live in his shadow, so perhaps Reeves’ feels it’s best not to try. 

There are also other behind the scenes complications that make the Joker’s inclusion in The Batman quite difficult.

Jared Leto’s Joker is much younger than Ben Affleck’s Batman, and considering that this movie serves as a prequel for Batfleck’s story, the Clown Prince Of Crime would be nothing more than a child during the events of The Batman. The Joaquin Phoenix led Joker film also serves as a potential roadblock, as DC seems to be against having multiple versions of Joker on the big screen, especially If Birds Of Prey is anything to go by. 

The New Vision of The Batman

Even though Joker may not play a role in The Batman, he’s an integral part of Batman’s cinematic history, one that continues to shape the future of Bats on the silver screen. Reeves is looking to distinguish his film from all that have come before it by exploring an era of Bruce Wayne’s history that has seldom been explored in film. 

“I just felt like well, what I’d love to do is to get a version of this Batman character where he’s not yet fully formed. Where there’s something to do in this context with who that guy would be in this world today, and to ground him in all of these broken ways. Because at the end of the day, this guy is doing all of this to deal with trauma in his past.”

While The Batman isn’t an origin story, it’s set in the early days of the Caped Crusader’s adventures. Exploring a Batman during this era is a genius way to reinvigorate a character who has been in the spotlight of pop culture for decades. Reeves’ film will present a more damaged and broken version of Batman than audiences might expect, and that could give this franchise just the push it needs to become the massive success story it can be. 

Are you excited for Matt Reeves’ The Batman? Would you like to see Joker appear in a sequel? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media. 


Corbin Shanklin

Corbin Shanklin

Corbin Shanklin loves Moon Knight, Black Adam, Deadpool, Something Is Killing The Children, Hit-Monkey, and any comic book adaptation they can find. They are proud to work as a journalist for The Illuminerdi, reporting for the fans, as a fan.