The Batman Director Says Barry Keoghan Hasn’t Yet Become the Joker

The Batman may still have to worry about the Clown Prince of Crime in a future sequel, as Barry Keoghan’s character hasn’t yet become the Joker.

The Clown Prince of Crime has yet to make his debut in Gotham City in The Batman canon. In the film, a brief appearance can be seen of Barry Keoghan as someone who is clearly the Joker. With the villain incarcerated and bearing various disfigurements, the film even hints at a history between this Joker and Robert Pattinson’s Batman. But that doesn’t mean Batman has already faced the Joker necessarily, as this criminal hasn’t quite gotten to that point yet.

Matt Reeves, director of The Batman, offers clarification on this in a new video delving into the deleted scene featuring more of Keoghan and Pattinson. For his part, Reeves wanted to establish that many of Gotham’s most infamous criminals were already in existence and causing some trouble in the city. They do indeed have some history, but this is just the start of this Joker’s story. Reeves teases that he has yet to fully become the Clown Prince of Crime, so with that transformation and a presumed escape from Arkham, the Batman could end up facing in a future film. As Reeves explains:


“I think for me, what I wanted to do, in trying to kind of launch a new Year 2 Gotham, was to have it as if all of these characters, that we know in Gotham, sort of already exist. And here we have a version of this character who is not yet the Joker, but is going to become the Joker. And I wanted Batman to have an experience with him that put him in Arkham. a connection right from the beginning, and I wanted this version of the character to go all the way back to the original Bob Kane, Bill Finger inspiration, which is Conrad Veidt in the silent film The Man Who Laughs. It’s like a Phantom of the Opera story, and his face is locked in a permanent smile because he has this degenerative disease.”

Related: The Batman: Decoding Barry Keoghan’s Joker

Barry Keoghan Might Return in a Sequel

It was just announced at CinemaCon that The Batman is officially getting a sequel, but that’s hardly a surprise given its financial and critical success. Robert Pattinson will return as the titular superhero with Matt Reeves also back in the director’s chair. The film is in its early stages, so it’s not clear who the Batman will be up against or if Keoghan will make another appearance, even if briefly, to help set it up more of his transformation into the Joker.

We could also end up seeing more of Keoghan in a spinoff series that’s in the works at HBO Max. Separate from the spinoff that follows Colin Farrell’s Penguin, there’s a spinoff series that will be set in Arkham Asylum, presumably showing more of its inmates. That would seem like a great place to have more scenes with Keoghan, as well as offering the creative freedom to include many other supervillains from Batman’s rogues gallery.

The Batman 2 doesn’t have an official release date just yet.

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