- See Batman (disambiguation) for other uses of the word "Batman".
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (also known as Batman of the Future: Return of the Joker in Europe and Australia) is a direct-to-video animated feature based on the Batman Beyond series. It is noteworthy for resolving the conflict between the Joker and the original Batman, as well as introducing the Joker into the Batman Beyond timeframe. Also resolved was the fate of the second Robin, Tim Drake, and the Joker's old sidekick and groupie, Harley Quinn.
While the feature is quite popular among DCAU fans, many of whom cite it as the animated universe's storytelling apotheosis, its release was plagued by controversy. Scenes dubbed too intense for young audiences were altered or outright removed from the film's first incarnation, in some cases drastically changing the mood of a scene, and when fan unrest led to an uncut version being released over a year later, it was given a PG-13 rating.
- The following summary is based on the original uncensored cut of the film. See below for details of elements altered after censorship.
A gang of Jokerz launch a raid on Gotham Shipping to steal a large piece of electronic technology. The robbery is interrupted by the arrival of Batman. A fight ensues which turns into a pursuit in the skies of Gotham City. One of the three helicraft the Jokerz are using to carry away the equipment, piloted by Bonk, takes off to fight Batman, leaving the equipment and the other craft to crash. Batman overcomes Bonk, and his craft crashes. The equipment crashes to the ground, but Chucko manages to retrieve its memory chip and escape with the others before the equipment explodes.
Terry is puzzled why the Jokerz would be stealing advanced technology. Bruce Wayne theorizes that they're engaged in industrial espionage. Terry sees a news report that Wayne has announced his return to active leadership of Wayne Enterprises, to the disappointment of acting Operations Manager and rival-for-corporate-leadership Jordan Pryce. Terry resolves to wait for the Jokerz to make their next move. However, he does end up feeling the after-effects of a bite given to him by one of the Jokerz members, Woof in the earlier fight, although he decides to do the date with Dana Tan despite the fact that such an injury would be hard to cover up to Dana Tan and Bruce's advise that he get some good nights rest. However, Bruce's advice ends up revealing itself to be quite valid, as he ended up so tired from the fight and injury that he seemed to shrug through the dances at the dance club and even talk to the wrong girl by mistake.
The Jokerz return to their lair, an abandoned candy factory. Chucko offers the memory chip, which their leader, hidden in the shadows, angrily smashes with his fist. As this leader berates them for their incompetence, Bonk is angered: "Your day is over, old man; even if you are who you say you are, and personally, I think you're a fake!" Bonk then tells his fellow gang members that their leader is having them steal a lot of "geek junk and no cash", and even pointing out that the leader never even explained to them what he planned to do with the components that they stole for them if he even had one. This fact made the Jokerz think it over and then glare angrily at their leader. When Bonk shouts that he wants out, the leader responds by pulling a gun on Bonk. Terrified, Bonk takes back his statements, but the leader pulls the trigger ― and a comical "BANG!" flag pops out. Bonk breathes a sigh of relief ― and the leader pulls the trigger again, shooting the banner into Bonk like a dart, and killing him with Joker toxin. The leader steps out of the shadows, revealing himself to be the original Batman's old archenemy, the Joker, only now with a purple, skin tight outfit, short hair and lacking in eyebrows. The terrified remaining Jokerz swear their allegiance to him, then Ghoul begins searching for places to acquire a new piece of equipment while Dee Dee takes out the trash (by disposing of Bonk's corpse).
Wayne and Terry arrive at an evening gala at which Bruce plans to inaugurate his return. Said speech is immediately interrupted by familiar hysterical laughter. The spliced half-hyena Joker Woof then jumps into the crowd of spectators. During the distraction, Chucko and Ghoul break into the Wayne Enterprises lab downstairs, stealing the desired technology, as well as gassing security. Up above, Wayne easily overcomes Woof with his cane, but has difficulty with the newly arrived Dee Dee twins, and is down on the ground when the Joker makes a dramatic emergence onto the stage, to Wayne's horror.
The now-costumed Terry returns, but is occupied with Woof as Joker and Dee Dee board a hovercraft. When Terry tries to pursue, Joker detonates a series of explosives, causing further chaos. Batman is forced to save civilians rather than pursue.
On the way home Terry wonders aloud that the Joker seems pretty vigorous for a man who, like Wayne, should be in his 80's. Wayne simply orders him to carry on driving.
In another part of Gotham, the now middle-aged Tim Drake sees a news report on the Joker's re-appearance, and is horrified by it.
Undaunted by Bruce's aloofness, Terry tries Commissioner Barbara Gordon for information, and receives much the same reply: that it isn't his business and that he shouldn't concern himself with it. As Terry leaves, he passes Drake, who has his own appointment with Barbara.
In the Batcave, Bruce runs a voice comparison between the Joker at the ceremony and his old recordings: they are identical. Terry returns, and realises that the Joker, whom Bruce never mentioned once, must have been the greatest ever of Bruce's old foes. He asks how it's possible that Joker could still be alive, and Bruce says it's impossible: the Joker died years ago, and Bruce watched it happen.
Terry concludes that Joker was planning a crime so heinous that Wayne was forced to kill him. Wayne does not respond, but tells Terry that he wants him to hand in the Batsuit. He's avenged his father's death, and so he has no need to continue, and Bruce was wrong to "force this life" upon him. Terry refuses, saying that fighting crime as Batman is what makes him a worthwhile person, after years as an irresponsible, lawless teenager. Wayne merely dismisses this, calling Terry a "stupid kid". Terry retorts by throwing the Batsuit down and leaving.
Later on, as Terry is dancing with his girlfriend Dana at a nightclub, he is attacked by the Jokerz. At the same time, the Joker himself attacks Bruce in the Batcave. Dana is injured, but Terry manages to send the Jokerz running. Realizing that the Jokerz, or their boss, must know his secret identity, Terry rushes to Wayne Manor.
Terry returns to the Batcave to find the words "Ha, Ha Ha" scribbled across the floor of the Batcave in red, mirroring how his father's place looked when he was killed by Jokerz, and immediately runs to find Bruce, slowly laughing himself to death from Joker venom. Terry finds a tube of anti-venom and injects Bruce, who falls unconscious.
Unsure who else to turn to, Terry calls Barbara in for help. As she ministers to Bruce, she tells Terry the true story:
Some forty years earlier, the second Robin, Tim Drake, is kidnapped by Harley Quinn and the Joker. After three weeks, Joker sends Batman and Batgirl a clue that leads them to the place where Tim Drake is being held: the original Arkham Asylum (the old building had been half destroyed and the asylum had been moved to a new location).
Upon their arrival, the Joker explains that he and Harley were "getting on" in years, and it is time to think about a family. And since Batman "always had a few spare kids" tagging along, he's "adopted" one of them. He then reveals Tim, who has been brainwashed into a miniature version of himself. Joker takes off with Batman in pursuit, while Barbara fights Harley through the ruins of Arkham. In the fight, Harley falls off a cliff into a pit and vanishes.
Arriving in the asylum's old operating theater, which Joker has converted into a cinema, Batman sees "home movies" of how Joker tortured and brainwashed Tim. From his hiding place, Joker narrates the story, saying that Tim held out for a long time but finally broke down and revealed all of Batman's secrets, and delivers the final bombshell by calling Batman "Bruce".
Finding his hiding place, Batman engages Joker in a brutal fight, but Joker manages to get the upper hand, disabling Bruce with a knife in his leg. As Bruce lies helpless, Joker tosses a gun to Tim, telling him to finish Batman. Tim, instead, shoots Joker fatally, and then breaks down completely.
Bruce and Barbara bury the Joker under Arkham, and take Tim to Leslie Thompkins, who helps him back to sanity over the course of the next year. The only other people who know what happened are James Gordon, who helped cover the incident up for the sake of his friendship with Batman, Bruce's butler Alfred Pennyworth, Dick Grayson, and presumably Superman and the rest of the Justice League.
After Tim recovers, Bruce forbids him from ever being Robin again. Tim leaves, and eventually marries, fathers two children and re-starts his career as a communications engineer.
Terry feels sorry for Tim, but says he is still the most likely connection to the now-returned Joker. As Batman, he questions Drake, who denies any involvement and expresses resentment about his past life as Robin: all of them ― Barbara, Dick, and himself ― gave it everything they had, but it was never enough for Bruce's impossible standards. Tim even had a vain hope that one day he would succeed Bruce as Batman, but eventually grew sick of his life to the point that he detests even looking at his old Robin suit.
Finding Drake a dead-end, Terry then suspects Jordan Pryce. However, Terry finds the Jokerz on Pryce's yacht, trying to kill him. He rescues Pryce before a giant laser beam from a satellite destroys the boat. Although Pryce is not the Joker, Batman plays a recording of the conversation between Pryce and the Jokerz, revealing that Pryce has been helping the Jokerz steal the technology, in exchange for them trying to kill Wayne. Pryce is arrested.
Terry returns to the Batcave, frustrated with his inability to solve the case. Bruce appears, having partially recovered. He confesses that he didn't want Terry going up against the Joker, even if he is an impostor, out of the fear that something similar to what happened to Tim would happen again.
Looking around the Batcave, Terry notices that only the Robin costume was deliberately damaged in the Joker's attack on the Batcave. Remembering Tim's resentment, Terry deduces that Tim may be behind the Joker. The stolen technology, when utilized by a communications expert, could form a transmitter allowing him to hijack a defense satellite — the same kind that destroyed the yacht. Bruce orders Terry to go after Tim.
Terry confronts Tim at his job site, but it is a hologram. Joker appears on vid screen, revealing that Tim has indeed joined forces with him. With his help, the Joker has taken control of an Hyperion class defense satellite, which he intends to use to bring Gotham under his control.
Terry manages to escape the booby traps set at Tim's lab, and takes off in the Batmobile, being chased through Gotham by another giant laser beam. He tracks the Joker to the abandoned Jolly Jack Candy Factory. He is attacked by the Jokerz, but manages to fight them off.
Inside, he finds Drake, unconscious. Awakening, Drake appears to be re-living the trauma of his kidnapping, and of killing Joker. Terry is concerned, but then Drake turns on him, disabling him with an electrical device. To his and Bruce's horror, Drake then bursts into hysterical laughter, and transforms into the Joker.
The Joker reveals the truth: using stolen genetics technology, he copied his consciousness and DNA onto a microchip and implanted it in Tim Drake's brain while Tim was his prisoner. He's had to remain dormant inside Tim's brain for most of the past years, but has been gradually getting stronger. Whenever the chip takes control of Tim, he transforms into the Joker, and uses Tim's voice to lie to his family should they grow worried. Soon, the Joker will take complete control of Tim's body.
The Joker prepares a satellite strike on Gotham, beginning with Wayne Manor or Dana's hospital or Terry's house, to crush Terry's spirit. But before he can fire, Terry sics Ace on him and uses the distraction to destroy the beam's guidance system. The beam then heads toward the factory.
The Joker attempts to escape, but Terry seals the factory, and Joker and the young Dark Knight face off in a final confrontation. This Joker is a much tougher physical combatant than his old self, and more than a match for the young Batman, and having access to Tim's memories gives him knowledge of Batman and Robin's skills. Terry retorts that Joker doesn't know a thing about him, and proves it by fighting dirty and catching the Joker off guard, landing a few good hits on him.
Terry soon changes his battle plan after Bruce informs him that Joker "likes to talk": hiding in the rafters, he plays mind games with the Joker, taunting him about his obsession with Batman and his lameness as a comedian, culminating in Terry laughing at the ridiculousness of the "Clown Prince of Crime", sending his opponent into a crazed rage. A furious Joker throws a handful of grenades at his opponent, sending Terry crashing to the floor. The Joker pins him to the ground, pulls off his mask and begins choking him. Terry capitalizes on the Joker's distraction and destroys the microchip with Joker's own electrical joy buzzer, thus destroying the Joker once and for all and restoring Tim. Terry escapes with Tim and Ace before the satellite destroys the factory, taking the satellite jammer with it and killing the beam. The satellite then drifts off into space.
In the city jail, the Dee Dee twins are revealed to be the twin granddaughters of the aging Harley Quinn, who is seen bailing them out while lamenting what disappointments they are.
Barbara visits Tim in the hospital, assuring him that she's covering up for the Joker's crimes, of which he is completely innocent. Terry also comes to visit, and they are all surprised to see Bruce there, saying that that is where he should be. The three old heroes mend their fences. Terry decides to go, but both Tim and Bruce tell him that he is truly worthy of the Mantle Of The Bat.
Terry dons the Batsuit once again and flies off into the heart of Gotham City.
- Producer Bruce Timm has reportedly stated that the events in the flashback take place "at the end" of the current DCAU timeline ― i.e., after the events chronicled in Justice League Unlimited (ending with the episode "Destroyer") and before the events of Batman Beyond (beginning with the episode "Rebirth".) It has been suggested that the traumatic event caused Batman to sever his ties not only with his immediate partners, but also with Superman and the rest of the Justice League.
- This movie establishes the Joker's real identity as being "unknown". However, in previous Batman: The Animated Series episodes, namely "Dreams in Darkness" and "Joker's Wild", he was referred to by the name of Jack Napier (which is the same shown in the 1989 movie Batman). It was also mentioned, however, that this may have been simply another alias. "Beware the Creeper" supports the notion that Jack Napier was not his real name even further, as Jack Ryder's report mentions that his former identity was unknown, although he was employed as a hit-man for Salvatore Valestra.
- When Terry speculates about possible explanations for the Joker's longevity, he mentions "suspended animation due to floating around in a frozen block of ice?" This is a possible reference to Mr. Freeze, who was last seen in the episode "Cold Comfort" after his robotic body was trapped in a giant glacier. Somehow, Freeze's head was retrieved by Wayne-Powers, as shown in the Batman Beyond episode "Meltdown".
- When Bruce is checking the future Joker's voice against that of the past Joker, the video footage in his records is a newly-animated version of a segment from the episode "Holiday Knights". Though Joker's original broadcast from that episode was in color (as seen on the TV in Commissioner Gordon's office), the segment was shown in black and white and the Joker had black lips.
- The flashback sequence takes place during the continuity of The New Batman Adventures, after Nightwing left Gotham City (and most likely went to Bludhaven), and Bruce is aided by Robin and Batgirl.
- The film appears to be set after the events of "King's Ransom", when Paxton Powers was arrested, and thus Bruce was allowed to regain control of Wayne-Powers and rename it back to Wayne Enterprises.
- When Terry runs into the Batcave and sees the giant "HA! HA! HA! letters spray-painted on the floor, he gasps and whispers, "Please God, no". This is a reference to "Rebirth, Part I" when Terry came home and found a similar tableau at the scene of his father's murder.
- Terry mentions his breaking in of the Batcave and swiping the Batsuit in "Rebirth, Part II".
- Terry alludes to his criminal past and his three months in Juvenile Hall. In "Big Time" it was revealed why he was convicted.
- In the episode "Joyride", many fans believe that skeletal remains seen in the mineshaft are those of the Joker, where Bruce and Barbara buried him in the ruins of Arkham Asylum.
- Terry calling Ace "Good, Bad Dog" is repeated from "Splicers".
- At the end of the Justice League episode "Wild Cards", Joker is rendered catatonic by Ace. His recovery from that state is not explained.
- The Jokerz introduced in the film re-appear in "The Once and Future Thing Part Two: Time, Warped", the first season finale of Justice League Unlimited. In that episode, they are henchmen of Chronos, and have been updated with cybernetic enhancements and radically advanced weapons. Also, Bonk is alive and well.
- In the episode "Epilogue", it is revealed that the genetics technology Joker used had been stolen from Project Cadmus, possibly at the same time he freed Ace and the other members of the Royal Flush Gang.
- Tara Strong (née Charendoff), who was married on May 12, 2000, is credited for the first time in the DCAU under her married name.
- The Joker's death takes place after Justice League Unlimited (it was stated Batman was with the League for more than 5 years). However, Tim Drake still is a young boy in the flashback; later appearances in Static Shock and "Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman" portray him as slightly older. However, neither Justice League Unlimited nor the older Robin had appeared yet, production-wise, when this movie was made.
- When Terry is in the Batcave briefing Bruce on the successful foiling of the robbery, his Batsuit can be seen on display next to Nightwing's. However, Terry is wearing that Batsuit at the time, and almost always carries it with him. (This inconsistency also occurred in "Eyewitness", "Out of the Past", and "The Call, Part I".) The suit is seen in display several times throughout the film, but when Terry arrives at the Batcave to aid Bruce, the displays have been tarnished and the one where Terry's Batsuit suit was supposed to be is empty again. This can also be observed later when Terry makes the connection between Tim and the Joker.
- When Terry arrives at the Batcave to find Bruce lying on the floor, the emblem on Nightwing's suit is red instead of blue.
- On the DVD of the edited version, the scene selection menu shows a screenshot from the Batcave in which the giant "HA! HA! HA!" letters are still red instead of purple.
- In the flashback, when Tim pulls the trigger on the spear gun the first time, the flag itself was hanging on the far end of the spear. However, when Tim shoots Joker with the spear gun, the "BANG" flag should be the first end in Joker's heart, as it was to Bonk, but The Joker's flag is pointing out like a real flag.
- The planned path of the Hyperion-class satellite's beam shows Wayne Manor on the riverfront. In all other appearances, it was shown to be on the oceanside.
- Paul Dini makes a cameo during the first few minutes of the movie.
- Terry briefly suspects Jordan Pryce of being the Joker. To support this theory Pryce was made to look like Joker without make-up. He is also voiced by Mark Hamill (much like how Stacy Keach voiced both the Phantasm and Carl Beaumont, the prime suspect).
- Ghoul is voiced by Michael Rosenbaum, who voices several other characters in Batman Beyond, and Flash on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. According to the DVD commentary, Rosenbaum modeled his voice on that of actor Christopher Walken.
- In the commentary, the producers remark that Chucko's appearance is based on Eric Radomski, who came to a Halloween party dressed in a similar outfit, humorously titled "Sicko the Clown".
- Maxine Gibson, Terry's confidant and pseudo-sidekick, is inexplicably absent and unmentioned, which is odd given that she appeared in almost every episode of Batman Beyond since her debut.
- Delia & Deidre Dennis ("Dee Dee") are shown to be the granddaughters of Harley Quinn, but it has been confirmed that they are not related to the Joker.
- Both Woof and Ace are voiced by Frank Welker, a veteran voice actor whose specialty is animal characters.
- Although Harley was originally set to be killed in the flashback sequence, she was "allowed" to survive and be shown surviving into old age. Paul Dini included this last scene because of his displeasure at being asked to kill off what he felt was one of his biggest contributions to the Batman mythos; Bruce Timm chose to retain it because he felt it provided some necessary comic relief.
- The producers were originally going to use a different actress to provide Harley's "old lady" voice, but ended up using Arleen Sorkin as usual.
- Some aspects were not included in either version of the movie:
- After being shot, Bonk's corpse was to be seen throughout the rest of the movie in the background, twitching. However, the producers were asked to leave it out early in the film's development.
- In the "home movies" shown by Joker, his apron was originally going to say "Kill the Cook", rather than "Kiss the Cook".
- Likewise, the picnic table was supposed to be set with surgical tools and sharp knives, rather than the more innocuous bagels, plungers, and cream cheese.
- The Joker's line, "Ah, brave new world, that has such putzes in it" is a spoof on the line "O brave new world, that has such people in't!" from Shakepeare's The Tempest.
- When Terry speculates about possible explanations for the Joker's longevity, he mentions "suspended animation due to floating around in a frozen block of ice?" This is a possible homage to Marvel Comics's Captain America.
- Joker's line "beneath all the sturm und Batarangs" is a spoof on the German phrase sturm und drang ("storm and stress"), the name of an artistic movement in Germany in the late 18th century.
- The orbital weapon commandeered by the Joker is a homage to the Satellite Orbital Laser in the anime film Akira (just as the bikes that the Jokerz ride in Batman Beyond are an homage to the Clowns motorcycle gang from that film). The film's animation director had previously worked on the original sequence in Akira.
- Pipe-Bomber Luke Helder attempted to make a "smiley face" pattern out of his targets across America, similar to the Joker's attempt with the satellite beam.
- When Batman and Batgirl enter Arkham Asylum, Harley Quinn is singing the famous lullaby "Hush Little Baby".
- Pier 7 first appeared on the episode "Mind Games".
- The VHS and DVD covers depict the Joker as having green skin, while in the movie he has his normal white skin.
- The idea of a former Robin emerging as a new Joker would later be used in the alternate timeline comic book series, Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, in which Dick Grayson, following years of gene therapy and his fall into insanity, resurfaces as a shapeshifting villain and takes on the form of the Joker for most of the story until the final battle. Again, Batman is stunned at the Joker's apparent return, since the Joker had previously died in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. A major difference, however, is that Grayson willingly submitted to the therapy in order to exact revenge on Batman, who treated him with nothing but abuse and contempt, and later disowned him spitefully. Also, Batman makes no effort whatsoever to bring Grayson back to his senses, instead killing his former ward with no shred of pity or remorse. In stark contrast to Return of the Joker, however, this depiction of Batman and Grayson's hostile relationship and Grayson's decision to become an eerie villain received a widely negative reception.
The movie was initially released in the midst of the backlash against violence in movies and video games aimed at children that followed the Columbine High School massacre; as a result, the movie was substantially re-edited shortly before release to tone down the violence. Many of the changes were controversial, particularly those made to a key scene in which the Joker is killed. The original unedited version has been released as "The Original Uncut Version".
The following are some changes that were made in the edited version:
- The opening fight sequence is trimmed, cutting out a second Dee Dee kick and completely redoing the entire Batman/Dee Dee sequence.
- Lots of white flashes have been added to the action sequences where there were previously none. Additionally, combinations of punches have been mostly trimmed down to one punch. For example:
- Woof slashes the guard once now instead of twice.
- Batman no longer punches Ghoul in the gut; he just uppercuts him into the dish.
- There is a 360-degree fight sequence in the opening battle that has also been removed, where Batman fends off the Jokerz one by one.
- Later on in the club, Terry's attack on Ghoul is cut to a flash and Terry running away while Ghoul falls.
- When Bruce throws the Batarang, it appears as though he's simply pleased that he can still throw and catch the weapon, instead of using it to decapitate a Two-Face dummy.
- Seat belts are added to Terry and Bruce as they drive home after their first meeting with the new Joker as well as in the chase scenes in the Batmobile.
- Bonk is not shot with Joker's flag-spear gun, but instead given a dose of Joker laughing gas, taking his implied death off-screen. Because of this, the whole scene following Bonk's death is heavily edited, as it would make no sense.
- The club fight is changed: the sequence where Chucko punches Terry while he is being held helpless by Dee Dee is cut out; he just goes for his gun and says "Slag him!"
- When Terry enters the Batcave to find it demolished by the Joker, the letters 'HA! HA!' written across the floor are changed in color from red to purple, probably to assure the viewer it is written in spray paint rather than Bruce's blood.
- During a montage where Batman and Batgirl comb the underworld looking for clues about Robin's disappearance, Batgirl talks to a nicely-dressed man and woman instead of two scantily clad women, clearly intended to be prostitutes, on a street corner. These two women appeared in The New Batman Adventures as Batgirl's "sources", in the episode "The Ultimate Thrill". (The blonde is based on an early Black Canary character design later seen in Justice League Unlimited)
- In the flashback, Batman frees himself from the Joker's bonds with a knife, then throws that knife at the Joker, who ducks at the last second. This scene is cut out of the edited version.
- More than half of the "Our Family Memories" home movie is cut out, only showing Robin tied up and struggling, and cutting the scene where the Joker opens the barbecue lids, picks up the electrodes, and electrocutes Robin.
- After Batman smashes through the glass of the projector room, he punches Joker and traces of blood fly from Joker's mouth; all other blood in the film was removed. Notably, in the next shot, Joker is not bleeding.
- Originally, Joker disables Batman by slashing a knife across his chest and then stabbing him in the leg. In the edited version, he just punches him. However, if one looks closely at the Joker's hand, the knife handle is still visible in the edited version.
- The Joker's death scene is replaced with an entirely different one: Joker tosses Tim a gun meant to spray him with Joker gas, meant to "make [Batman] one of us". Instead, Tim drops the gun and pushes Joker into a room with water on the floor, where he accidentally hits an electrical switch and is electrocuted to death off-screen. The gun's positioning and appearance during this edited sequence is inconsistent.
- Barbara's line about burying the Joker beneath Arkham is removed.
- A lot of dialogue is changed as well; words implying killing or torture are changed:
|Joker: I'll begin with how I peeled back the layers of the boy's mind.||"I'll begin with how I effected young Robin's makeover".|
|Joker: [...] the serums and the shocks took their toll, [...]||Cut|
|Terry: I'm assuming his girlfriend bought it, too.||"And since you saw Harley fall into the pit..".|
|Barbara: [...] she was able to help Tim back to sanity.||"[...] she was able to help Tim back to himself.|
|Jordan Pryce: [...] while those bunglers tried to kill Wayne [...]||"[...] tried to ice Wayne. [...]"|
|Bruce: Robin did shoot him.||Robin defeated him.|
|Tim: Oh God... I killed him. I didn't mean to. I tried so hard to forget... but I still hear the shot, still see his dead smile.||"Oh God... I did it. I didn't mean to. I tried so hard to forget... but I can still hear his scream. I can still see his frozen smile".|
|Tim: It's a killer.||It's a doozy.|
- Some slight profanity is also removed:
|Joker: Ah, brave new world, that has such putzes in it.||"putzes" is changed to "yutzes".|
|Joker: Any last words for the old Bat-Fart?||last phrase is changed to "the old Bat-Coot".|
- In the scene where the satellite laser chases the Batmobile, it blasts an unmarked, dark, seemingly empty building. Originally, it was a lit movie theater. In the edited version, the word "cineplex" can be seen exploding out of the wreckage in the last few frames of the shot.
- The introduction to the scene on the Wayne Enterprises yacht between Jordan Pryce and his female friend is excised.
- When Ace watches part of a Looney Tunes episode on the TV where a dog thinks he killed Bugs Bunny, the dog on TV says "I don't deserve to live!" over and over instead of moving on to saying "I wish I were dead!" twice.
- The scene where Jordan Pryce discovered the Jokerz onboard his yacht was shortened in order to omit a potentially suggestive scene where he is talking to "Amy" about how he didn't know who to invite to his celebration of his acension to Wayne Enterprises CEO only to discover that the woman on the bed was actually one of the Dee-Dee twins.
Additionally, some scenes were not included in either version; see Comic Adaptation and Behind the Scenes, below.
A comic book adaptation of the film was released. It was largely based on the original version, except for the Joker's death scene, which matched the edited version. This led to inconsistency, where the rest of the comic referred to the Joker being shot instead of electrocuted.
The comic also includes several scenes that didn't make into either version:
- Bruce visits the ruins of Arkham to find clues about the Joker's return. He is unknowingly followed by Terry.
- In the flashback, Batman interrogates Penguin about Joker and Robin's whereabouts.
The screenplay, credited to Dini, was published. The final cut of the film is mostly faithful to it; there are a few additional scenes, including:
- The above-mentioned scene when Bruce visits Arkham;
- The above-mentioned scene with the interrogation of Penguin;
- A scene where Bruce visits the ruins of the opening gala after the Joker's attack, and finds Pryce supervising the clean-up crew: Pryce surprises Bruce with the depth of his knowledge about Bruce's public life, making him suspicious about whether he knows more.
There are also a few additional lines that did not make it into the film; for instance, when Terry confers with Bruce in the Batcave after the yacht explosion, he reveals that Pryce, while he is not the Joker, hired the Jokerz to kill Bruce. Bruce scowls, "remind me to fire him".
The DVD's special features include a music video "Crash (The Humble Brothers Remix)" by Mephisto Odyssey & Static-X.
Joker: (asking each of the Jokerz if they're with him) Bonk? Oh, right. Dead.
Joker: Adios, Brucie. I guess I should salute you as a worthy adversary and all that, but the truth is, I really did hate your guts.
(Terry puts the Joker in an armlock)
(An elderly Harley Quinn arrives looking angry)
Tim Drake: I owe you big time.
Bruce: Terry, I've been thinking about something you once told me, and you were wrong. It's not Batman that makes you worthwhile. It's the other way around. Never tell yourself anything different.