One of the most anticipated DC Comics films of the year is, without a doubt, is Matt Reeves' The Batman. The project will see Robert Pattinson bring his version of the all-popular Dark Knight to the big screen as he goes up against Paul Dano's The Riddler. Just like Joker, this film will take place in its own universe, separate from the Zack Snyder-originated DC Extended Universe. So don't go in expecting interconnectivity with the likes of The Flash or Aquaman.
At the end of the day, that doesn't matter to most fans. The idea of a good standalone story focused on the Caped Crusader is more than plenty; it certainly looks like the project may provide just that.
While Riddler will be the main villain of the movie, he'll also be joined by Colin Farrell's Penguin and Zoe Kravitz's Catwoman––though, her antagonistic status is a mystery.
But where is the Clown Prince of Crime? The hero's biggest villain is integral to his legacy, so he's a hard character to leave out of stories entirely.
If rumors are to be believed, even Matt Reeves couldn't keep him away. Not only that, but whispers indicate that he could be played by Eternals actor Barry Keoghan.
Keoghan's involvement has been the topic of speculation for months now. IMDB officially has him listed as Officer Stanley Merkel, but many fans believe this to be a false name.
Well, now, the director has officially confirmed the actor's presence in the film.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Batman.
Thanks to TechRadar, via Comicbook.com, new comments have surfaced from The Batman director Matt Reeves which have broken the silence with Barry Keoghan's mysterious character––who has previously been rumored to be The Joker.
Reeves mentions how there scene "with the unseen prisoner (Keoghan)," alongside the Riddler in Arkham Asylum, but sadly the scene was cut:
"There were scenes we cut that I liked... In fact, there's a scene with the unseen prisoner (Keoghan), who appears at the end of the movie in Arkham [Asylum] with the Riddler. There was an earlier scene where Batman went to Arkham to try to profile the Riddler, and Barry is in that scene. It's a very cool scene, and I'm sure we'll release the scene after the movie comes out, because it's a really cool deleted scene."
Though, even with the scene not making the final cut, the director made it clear that "there's nothing that [he] took out of the movie that I wish was in it:"
“There's nothing that I took out of the movie that I wish was in it... this is the cut of the movie. I mean, there's no, it's not like there's some other [director's cut]. The amazing thing is I got to make the movie that I wanted to make, and that's this movie."
The Riddle Meets The Joke
The big question that arises from Reeves' comment is: will Barry Keoghan's mysterious character be in the film at all? It's unclear if this cut scene was his only one or if something still made it into the final project.
A December 10, 2021 scoop from The Hollywood Reporter indicated that there were two cuts of the film. One of them had "a certain actor," and the other did not. It seems pretty clear that the person in question is Barry Keoghan.
It also still isn't confirmed if the character Keoghan shows up as is, in fact, The Joker. Even in the director's comments, he's referred to as an unseen prisoner. Even if he makes an appearance, it's quite possible fans still won't be getting an identity reveal in this movie.
Hopefully, the scene will be available when the film is released on home media, a possibility Reeves indicated. It would be especially cruel if it didn't, with such a big tease ahead of the project's release.
The Batman hits theaters on March 4.