Robert Pattinson is returning as the cape crusader in a sequel from Matt Reeves, who helmed his first outing as the Batman. The film concluded with a rather neat ending — Batman successfully protected the city of Gotham from the Riddler (Paul Dano) and is finally regarded as the city’s savior. With Riddler in Arkham Asylum, the ending leaves much room for Reeves to incorporate various Batman villains from the comics.
One of the final scenes of the film already teased Barry Keoghan’s Joker and the character’s presence at Arkham, to fans’ surprise. While Keoghan appears for mere moments at the end of “The Batman,” during which he is seen maniacally laughing with The Riddler, there’s a deleted scene where he talks with Batman himself. The existing filmed scenes could very well lead the way to the second chapter in the caped crusader’s early years — and there’s a comic book storyline that illustrates it all.
Matt Reeves has been pretty clear about his intentions for “The Batman” sequel — the filmmaker didn’t simply introduce The Joker to set up a potential second film. When you see the caped crusader’s biggest villain being teased, it’s natural to assume that the character will find its way to a sequel, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this time. Reeves wanted to maintain the idea that Gotham was deeply dangerous, and bringing in The Joker was a way of establishing it. Still, if Reeves wanted to go that way, “The War of Jokes and Riddles” comic book story arc could somehow inspire “The Batman” sequel.
The comics story is set in Bruce Wayne’s second year of being Batman, where The Riddler and Joker both attempt to kill him. Since the first film was influenced by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s “Batman: The Long Halloween” series, it would be interesting to see more comic book influence in a sequel. And who doesn’t want to see two of Batman’s biggest villains battle it out to kill him?
Here’s the official synopsis:
Early in Batman’s career, the Joker and the Riddler would seemingly be natural allies. But each man determined that he and he alone must be the one to kill the Bat… and either would sooner burn down Gotham than be beaten to the punch line. Untold until now, one of the darkest chapters in Batman’s history sees all of Gotham’s villains choosing sides in a battle of wits that soon turns into a full-blown war—complete with civilian casualties. In the War of Jokes and Riddles, only one side can claim victory… but the scars it leaves will shape Batman’s future as he makes the most important decision of his life.
In “The War of Jokes and Riddles,” which is a solid addition to the Batman comic book universe, Joker and The Riddler are at war with each other as they attempt to kill The Dark Knight to see who does it first and who does it better. They cause a full-fledged city-wide war in what is easily one of the most innovative, action-packed Batman stories of the past decade. PS: It features a bit of Batman and Catwoman (Selina Kyle) romance — which the first film has set up already.
Judging from The Joker scene from “The Batman,” we do know that The Riddler and Joker have already become acquainted at Arkham Asylum. At some point, they’re bound to share riddles and metaphors that tease their future killing plans. With two of the most dangerous villains in Batman history being in Arkham at the same time, there’s always a good chance that some kind of chaos is about to take place.