If you weren’t hyped about Matt Reeves’ The Batman starring Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, and Paul Dano before, the latest rumour might just do the trick. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros is currently testing two different cuts of the upcoming film with audiences: one of which features a certain actor portraying a certain iconic role. The prevailing theory? Barry Keoghan – who’s been listed on The Batman cast as Gotham police officer Stanley Merkel (partner to Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordan) – will actually take up the mantle of The Joker.
While this may all seem like the hair-brained speculation of a man sent over the edge – and granted, most of our pop culture content produced by yours truly usually is – there’s further evidence indicating Barry Keoghan will be introduced as The Joker in The Batman, beyond the equally hair-brained speculation of the Twittersphere and provocative + specific name-dropping of Keoghan by THR. Last month, the Eternals and Dunkirk actor’s own brother, Eric Keoghan, spilled the beans on social media, revealing Barry had been cast as the Clown Prince of Crime. As you can imagine, the post was deleted shortly after.
Similar to both Top Gun: Maverick and No Time To Die, the early reactions for these test screenings have been extremely promising. And while specific details haven’t been revealed for obvious NDA-related reasons, a Twitter thread from @blurayangel in addition to other anonymous leakers on Reddit has provided some insight. With the added context of Barry Keoghan potentially becoming Joker in The Batman, let’s just say we’re more than willing to slap our tinfoil hats on…
“There’s a scene at the end that literally had everyone SCREAMING, everyone gasped… like it was a big no way for everyone.”
“I don’t give a fuck about Batman or DC and even I clenched onto a knee and was shook. It’s the biggest mic drop.”
“YES! Definitely a sequel. That’s the “Oh shit” moment. I genuinely felt like they’re gonna start a whole collection of Robert Pattinson Batman movies and circle through different villains maybe?”
“99.99% sure it’s Barry Keoghan. Light coming from behind him. Skin looks white and some scarring. Hard to make out if he has green hair. Got a funny vibe from him but still creepy. Laughs like a human hyena.”
Then there’s the matter of what fans think they can see in the international trailer dropped yesterday (linked above). But we’ll leave that up to you.
True to his promise, it would appear Matt Reeves has delivered something haunting, slow-burn, gritty, and best of all, memorable. Joining Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/The Dark Knight himself, Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as Detective James Gordon, and Barry Keoghan as Stanley Merkel/potentially The Joker for this upcoming “masterpiece” will be Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Paul Dano as The Riddler, plus John Turturro as Carmine Falcone.
The Batman has been written, directed, and produced by Reeves, with cinematography accomplished by Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty, Rogue One, Dune), and music by Michael Giacchino (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Rogue One, Jurassic World Trilogy).
The Batman is currently scheduled to release on March 3rd of 2022.