Ah, Joker, the gift that just refuses to stop giving. Love it, hate it, or just don’t care enough to feel something about it, the film is one of the biggest of 2019, and with all the controversy around it, the fact that it made so much money at the box office with a small budget makes it an overwhelming success. But according to an interview with Kevin Smith, the ending of the film could have been much different.
In a recent episode of Smith’s Fatman on Batman podcast, the notable director and professional nerd shared a little insider knowledge he got from “somebody who works in the business” about an alternate ending to Joker that we were thankfully spared from.
As reported on /Film, the sequence, as described by Smith, went as follows:
“The final scene still happened in the mental hospital, but instead of killing the psychiatrist, Fleck laughs to himself after telling the story. The doctor would have asked why he was laughing, to which Arthur would have said, ‘I was just thinking of something funny.’
Suddenly, the film would flash back to the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, this time at the hands of Arthur Fleck. As usual, Bruce Wayne is left crying next to his dead parents. But as Arthur walks away from the scene of the crime, he would stop, look back, shrug, and shoot Bruce Wayne. Cut to credits.”
Can I get a Sideshow Bob shudder gif, please?
Personally, I think one of the weakest links in the Joker chain was that Arthur became the leader of clown Antifa, and his clown Antifa riot ended up killing the Waynes. Joker being, in some form, being responsible for the death of Batman’s parents isn’t something new, as it was done in the 1989 film, and honestly, it felt a little bit much then, so taking this out of Joker is actually a good decision, in my eyes.
I prefer the idea of Batman’s existence creating his rogues’ gallery, rather than the idea that his foil is a man 30+ years older who “created” him. Batman creating the Joker is more interesting than the reverse.
Also the “looking back and shrugging” I can see so perfectly in this script that I can feel the douche chills in my body. I think if that had actually happened in the movie, I would have laughed so loudly in the worst way.
I have sat through Joker once more since my first viewing, and while I still deeply dislike 90% of the film, the ten percent I do enjoy makes me wish that we could get movies that care this much about the backstory of literally any other character in the Batman roster.
(via /Film, image: Warner Bros.)
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