Joker is one of the most successful comic book movies of all time, but would it have been so popular if it kept its original ending?
As the saying goes, you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet. When it comes to making an original comic book film, Joker stepped outside the norm and didn't just crack some eggs, it whipped them into soufflé.
Joker was successful because it took bold chances in its storytelling, exciting and surprising the audience at every turn.
But on this week's Fatman Beyond podcast, filmmaker Kevin Smith revealed that possibly the boldest turn of all was rejected by the studio early on.
"He's [the Joker] in the hospital and he laughs, chuckles, and he says, 'I was just thinkin' of something funny. What was supposed to happen was you flashed back to the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne and it was him killing Thomas and Martha Wayne and the boy was screaming and crying and he turned to walk away and he turned back, shrugged, and shot the kid. Credits."
Aside from the sadistic act of killing a kid...the original ending has Joker killing baby Batman!
Smith would not reveal the source for this information but did say he heard it from a privileged insider.
It's easy to see why Warner Bros would stop this ending from happening. Not only is it pretty messed up, but it canonically denies Batman the chance to exist in Fleck/Joker's world. While we know Todd Phillips thinks the ending of the Joker was left open to interpretation, meaning he thought it could not be what actually happened but the ravings of a mad man, it would have been another leap to kill off Bruce along with his parents.
While it would be interesting and bleak to show that world without hope, I'm not sure if fans would have embraced this vision. If you eliminate Joker's foe, what does the movie's overall theme become?
In the absence of hope comes...bloodshed? We already know that.
Also, from marketing and thematic sense, this scene feels extremely tacked on. Like something you'd add to get a rise out of people without really needing it or without it adding to your story. Still, there's something to be said about completely breaking the myths we're tied to and fundamentally making them our own.
What do you think about this possible original ending?
Like it? Love it?
Tell us what you think in the comments.
What's next? Joker Director Commentary gives a big reveal...
Todd Phillips is enjoying being at the top of a smoldering Gotham City after Joker set insane box office records. But his director's commentary proved there are still big reveals contained within the film's narrative.
Click for more.