The Batman had an incredible theatrical run, both critically and at the box office. This success led to a sequel being officially announced, with lead Robert Pattinson and director Matt Reeves expected to return. While it's too early to speculate about the upcoming film's plot details, it's reasonable to assume that Barry Keoghan's Joker could at least have another minor role, despite Reeves casting doubt on the villain's involvement.
The Batman's Clown Prince of Crime first made his proper debut at the tail-end of the movie, with him teasing a team-up with Paul Dano's Riddler. However, a deleted scene from the movie indicated that he already has a past with Pattinson's Caped Crusader, meaning that an eventual rematch could happen down the line.
Now, an unused design for Gotham's most dangerous villain has emerged online.
Barry Keoghan's Joker's Original Classic Look
Mike Marino, The Batman's prosthetic makeup designer, shared a new batch of behind-the-scenes images of Barry Keoghan's Joker.
In his Instagram stories, a special look at the original design of Keoghan's Clown Prince of Crime was revealed through a sculpt of the actor's head, showing the character with a more classic Joker hairstyle:
A closer look at the head sculpt indicates that this original version is much closer to the villain's appearance in Batman: The Man Who Laughs and Detective Comics # 475:
In a five-minute deleted scene from the movie, The Batman featured a detailed look at the Joker.
The Batman director Matt Reeves shared that this universe's Joker has a biological condition for his smile, an approach that sets this villain apart from previous iterations. Not only that but the villain's horrible form is also highlighted, with the character suffering from hair loss.
Reeves also pointed out then that this new version is inspired by The Man Who Laughs iteration of the character, which is in line with the design of the unused head sculpt of the villain:
This news was first uncovered by Reddit user u/FxBang.
Will The Batman's Joker Return with a New Look?
Based on the original design of The Batman's Joker, it looks like the character's biological condition is still present, but it still hasn't affected other parts of his body, such as his hair. However, it's also possible that this design could still be used in future projects set within the franchise, potentially revealing how the villain came to be.
While it's still unsure if the Joker will indeed return in the already-confirmed sequel, there's a strong chance that Barry Keoghan could eventually make a comeback in the planned series revolving around Arkham. This series could explore the Joker's origin, showcasing how his comics-inspired look evolved into the horrible version that fans saw in The Batman's deleted scene.
During The Batman, Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne is in his second year of duty protecting Gotham, and the film establishes that he's still learning the ropes when it comes to crimefighting. Seeing the Bat take on the Joker as soon as his sequel would feel rushed for some fans, and it would be better to tackle the complicated dynamic of the pair in the franchise's third film to fully highlight the Dark Knight's growth from the first two movies.
Whatever the case, it's safe to say that the Joker has a bright future in The Batman's universe, and ultimately, mortal enemies will face again down the line in a proper showdown.
The Batman is available to stream on major digital platforms.