Batman / Batman Joker

Does Batman Kill the Joker in Batman 1989?

In the 1989 Batman movie directed by Tim Burton, there’s a scene where Batman (played by Michael Keaton) and the Joker (played by Jack Nicholson) are fighting atop a cathedral tower. The Joker is hanging on to the edge of the tower with one hand, while Batman holds on to his other hand.

As Batman tries to save him, the Joker taunts him, saying “You made me, remember? You dropped me into that vat of chemicals. That wasn’t easy to get over and don’t think that I didn’t try.”

Many fans have debated whether or not Batman kills the Joker in this scene. Some argue that by letting go of the Joker’s hand and allowing him to fall to his death, Batman effectively killed his arch-nemesis. Others argue that since Batman was trying to save the Joker but was unable to hold on, he didn’t intentionally kill him.

The Evidence:

There are several pieces of evidence that support both sides of this argument. On one hand, it’s clear that Batman had an opportunity to save the Joker but chose not to. He even says “I’m going to kill you” earlier in the scene before changing his mind and attempting to save him.

On the other hand, it’s worth noting that throughout the movie, Batman is portrayed as someone who doesn’t kill people. He goes out of his way to avoid killing even when faced with dangerous situations. Additionally, there’s no explicit confirmation in the movie that the Joker died from falling off of the tower.

The Director’s Intent:

One important factor in determining whether or not Batman killed the Joker is understanding what director Tim Burton intended for this scene. In interviews, Burton has stated that he never intended for this scene to be interpreted as Batman killing the Joker.

According to Burton, “It was more just a moment where they’re up there and he tells him ‘you killed my parents’ and his anger towards him, because he was so angry that he wanted to kill him. But that wasn’t the intention, certainly.”

This statement seems to suggest that while Batman may have wanted to kill the Joker in the heat of the moment, it wasn’t Burton’s intention for him to actually go through with it.

The Verdict:

So, did Batman kill the Joker in the 1989 movie? The answer is.. unclear. While there are certainly arguments to be made on both sides of this debate, ultimately it comes down to interpretation.

However, based on Burton’s comments about the scene and Batman’s characterization throughout the movie as someone who doesn’t kill people, it seems more likely that Batman didn’t intentionally kill the Joker. This interpretation is also supported by the fact that there’s no explicit confirmation in the movie that the Joker died from falling off of the tower.

Regardless of whether or not you believe Batman killed the Joker in this scene, there’s no denying that it’s a powerful moment in a classic superhero movie. It showcases both characters’ complex relationships with each other and raises important questions about morality and justice.