'The Batman' meets the Joker: Matt Reeves releases deleted scene featuring newest version of Caped Crusader's archenemy

Heeeereee's Barry! The Batman director Matt Reeves has dropped a deleted scene from his Bat-blockbuster that provides a longer look at the newest incarnation of the Joker, played by Barry Keoghan (Eternals, Dunkirk). While the three-hour cut of the film that's currently showing in theaters features a brief (and largely obscured) cameo by the Irish actor, this five-minute scene gives fans a better sense of what the Clown Prince of Crime looks and sounds like. (Watch the clip above.)

Reeves has previously discussed the missing scene in interviews, comparing it to the Hannibal Lecter encounter in Michael Mann's 1986 classic Manhunter. In the sequence, Batman (Robert Pattinson) visits the Joker at Arkham Asylum to discuss the curious case of the rampaging serial killer the Riddler (Paul Dano).

Barry Keoghan appears as the Joker opposite Robert Pattinson's Dark Knight in a deleted scene from The Batman. (Photo: Warner Bros./YouTube)
Barry Keoghan appears as the Joker opposite Robert Pattinson's Dark Knight in a deleted scene from The Batman. (Photo: Warner Bros./YouTube)

"I thought he would be really insecure about this and he’d probably want to find some way to get into the [Riddler’s] mindset, like in Manhunter or Mindhunter — this idea of profiling somebody, so you can predict his next move," Reeves told Variety ahead of the film's release. The director also confirmed that Keoghan was his Joker at a post-screening Q&A that Yahoo Entertainment attended in February.

"He's who you think he is," Reeves told a journalist who directly asked if the filmmaker would confirm the character's identity. "That's who he is. The thing about the movie is, it isn't a Batman origin story, but it is the origin story of every rogues gallery character that you come across. Selina Kyle is not yet Catwoman, and the Penguin is not yet the kingpin. And the character that you're referring to is not yet the character you're referring to, but it is in fact him."

Keoghan acknowledged the scene's release on Twitter, saying he was "stuck for words" about inheriting a role that's previously been played by Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix. "I am very blessed to play this role after the amazing amazing actors before me," he added.

Set during the Batman's second year as Gotham City's resident Dark Knight, the film depicts the still-young hero still struggling with his role as detective and protector. That's a sore spot that the Joker has no problem pressing his proverbial thumb on. "I know who he is," he says teasingly. "He's a nobody who wants to be somebody." He also tells the vigilante that the Riddler is on a "personal" mission — not unlike Batman. "This is very upsetting to you," the Joker notes. "You two have so much in common: masked avengers. Except he's even more righteous. Are you afraid he makes you look soft?"

While Warner Bros. has yet to announce a sequel to The Batman, it's clear that Keoghan will play a role in the next chapter for Pattinson's Caped Crusader. This glimpse of the confrontation to come has Bat-fans on Twitter alternately intrigued and irritated.

The Batman is playing in theaters now.