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Joker was already a dark film to begin with, but the Todd Phillips-directed comic book thriller almost ended even more gruesomely. After grossing over $1 billion at the box office worldwide, the surprise blockbuster hit originally had a different ending. That is according to Kevin Smith, who explained on a recent episode of the Fatman Beyond podcast that he knows just how Phillips intended to end the film at one point in time.
*Spoilers for Joker below*
When Joaquin Phoenix's titular character shoots Robert De Niro's Murray Franklin during the climax, riots start to break out. Thomas and Martha Wayne, aka Bruce Wayne's parents, are shot and killed in the ensuing chaos. But as Smith revealed, at one point "the ending in the hospital was different."
As Arthur Fleck starts laughing as the deranged Joker to his psychiatrist, she asks, "What's so funny?" In the ending that made it to theaters, he simply said he was thinking about something funny that she wouldn't get. Smith said the fate of the Waynes was further showcased in the original ending. Instead of a rioter, a flashback would show that it was Fleck himself who shot Batman's parents.
"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," he revealed. From there the credits would roll, but it's clear that Warner Bros. was not on board with that ending. "What the fuck, man? This world has no Batman," Smith added.
Listen to the full episode of the podcast, which also includes extensive spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, above.