Even though the future of Warner Bros. Discovery and the on-screen DC Universe remains in question, the same can't be said for Robert Pattinson's The Batman.
Following a successful run at the box office earlier this year, director Matt Reeves and his production company signed a deal with Warner Bros., paving the way for a sequel to The Batman and the greenlight for Colin Farrell's The Penguin spin-off series.
While the timeline for the next film in The Batman franchise has yet to be revealed, fans are already speculating about who will return in this next chapter and whether it will be Barry Keoghan's Joker.
Now, months after the film's release, and in light of The Batman 2's promising future, Keoghan has shared his own thoughts on potentially returning to the role.
Barry Keoghan Talks Joker Return for The Batman 2
In talking with GQ, Barry Keoghan is eager to return to the role of Joker in the upcoming sequel to The Batman, saying, "As soon as that call comes, I'm there, man, I'm there."
For Matt Reeves' The Batman, Keoghan's Joker was a role that was shrouded in secrecy and with minimal screentime.
But despite his limited presence, the actor describes his version of the iconic villain as "a broken-down boy" who's both "A bit charming and a bit hurt."
He also insisted that his Joker would have his own blue eyes in order for the audience "to relate to him:"
“I wanted some sort of human in there behind the makeup. I want people to relate to him… [to know] this is a façade he puts on.”
In the time following The Batman's release, Keoghan's relatable Joker has certainly made an impact.
One of the film's deleted scenes, which showed more of the actor as the Batman villain, generated more than 10 million views and, according to the actor, earned him a high-ranking spot on the list of best on-screen Jokers.
According to Keoghan:
“There were seven [Jokers listed] and I was number four. Lads, with four minutes of screen time, not bad eh!?”
Will the Joker Return in The Batman 2?
Even though the future of The Batman franchise is bright, interviews suggest that may not be the case for Keoghan's villain.
In a past interview, Matt Reeves claimed that Keoghan's Joker almost didn't make it into the film at all. The only reason why the scene survived was that it contributed to Paul Dano's arc as the Riddler.
Not only was the Eternals star's cameo not intended to be a set-up, but Reeves also relayed that there's no guarantee that "the Joker would be in the next movie."
Given these quotes, it's clear that Matt Reeves' future plans for Pattinson's Batman didn't involve the Joker.
However, it's worth noting that the director gave this interview at the time of the film's release and before Keoghan's cameo took the internet by storm.
Considering the fan reaction, the director's new deal with the studio, and the actor's interest in returning, things could change or possibly already have changed.
But if there is anything working against Barry Keoghan's Batman tenure, it could be that ever-growing number of on-screen Jokers.
Interestingly enough, that list includes Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck whose own sequel from Warner Bros., Joker: Folie à Deux, is set to debut on October 4, 2024.
Only time will tell with Barry Keoghan will have the chance to reprise his role. But in the meantime, letting both fans - and Matt Reeves - know of his interest sure doesn't hurt.