‘The Batman’: Barry Keoghan Initially Had a Bigger Role in the Movie

TL;DR:

  • Barry Keoghan debuts as a well-known DC character at the end of The Batman.
  • According to Matt Reeves, the actor initially had a larger role in the movie.
  • It’s not guaranteed that we’ll see Keoghan’s character in The Batman sequel.
Barry Keoghan at 'The Batman' premiere. He's standing in front of a picture of Batman and wearing a blue suit and pink tie.
Barry Keoghan | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

DC fans went into The Batman with high expectations for Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight and Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman, but they knew next to nothing about Barry Keoghan’s role in the movie. And Keoghan’s character turns out to be less critical to the plot than many expected. According to director Matt Reeves, he was initially supposed to play a bigger role in The Batman. However, that isn’t quite how things panned out.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Batman.]

Barry Keoghan plays the Joker in ‘The Batman’

Although many went into The Batman wondering who Barry Keoghan would play, the movie doesn’t reveal who the Eternals star brings to life until the very end. Keoghan’s only scene takes place in prison, where his character befriends the Riddler (Paul Dano).

And although Keoghan is technically listed as “Unseen Arkham Prisoner,” it’s clear from the actor’s laugh that he’s meant to play this film’s version of the Joker. Unfortunately, viewers don’t get much insight into this iteration of the character, what he’s done, or what he intends to do.

And apparently, that might have been different if The Batman stuck to its original plans.

Barry Keoghan initially had a larger role in the movie

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Although Barry Keoghan only appears briefly at the end of The Batman, he was initially supposed to play a larger role in the movie.

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Matt Reeves opened up about the Joker’s inclusion in the film. According to the director, there was originally a storyline that saw Robert Pattinson’s Batman meeting Keoghan’s character in Arkham. This would have shed more like on this “unknown prisoner,” as well as Paul Dano’s villain:

“Because the movie is a serial killer story and I wanted Batman to be going down all these back alleys, I wanted him to turn to another serial killer in Arkham because he was so unsettled about why [the Riddler] would be writing him [and] he’s trying to profile the character. He meets this character who is the unseen prisoner. Over the course of the thing, you have a sinking suspicion about who this might be. It’s a version of this character that is not yet the character we come to know.”

As those who have seen the film know, this moment never made it into the final cut. Reeves told EW that they opted for Batman’s tense scene with the Riddler instead, which draws the same connections between the two characters without bringing a third into the mix.

Still, Reeves says they’re “going to do something with the scene.” With The Batman already greenlit for a sequel, the director could explore Keoghan’s character in more depth. Apparently, that isn’t a guarantee, though.

Will the Joker be back for ‘The Batman’s sequel?

Fans watching the scene between Barry Keoghan and Paul Dano may believe The Batman sequel will see the Riddler and the Joker teaming up. However, Matt Reeves cautioned against interpreting it that way.

Speaking with IGN, Reeves explained that, while the moment foreshadows more trouble, it isn’t necessarily meant to be a tease for the sequel:

“So the scene is not meant to be there to say, ‘Oh, here’s an Easter egg. The next movie is X.’ I don’t know that the Joker would be in the next movie, but I can tell you that here’s what you’re seeing, is an early days version of this character, and trouble, as always, is brewing in Gotham.”

Still, the Joker’s inclusion in this world means we may see him again — along with that deleted scene Reeves mentioned. Fans will certainly be waiting for Keoghan’s character to meet Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight.

Of course, there’s no shortage of DC villains he can butt heads with in the meantime.

The Batman is currently playing in theaters.

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