Matt Reeves' The Batman introduced new versions of several iconic DC Comics villains, including the Penguin, the Riddler, and, right at the very end of the movie, the Joker.
This latest big-screen take on the Dark Knight's nemesis was played by recent Academy Award-nominee Barry Keoghan, who gave a suitably unsettling performance as arguably the most grotesque-looking incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime yet.
The Eternals actor nabbed the role by sending in a video of himself acting out a scene in costume - but it's now come to light that he actually auditioned to play the Riddler!
“I just made it up,” Keoghan tells GQ about his self-audition video. “I wanted to make it Kubrick-y: symmetrical, the X on the back, the square doorframe, everything square. I just wanted swag to come across. Swag and endearing. It was just me giving my idea."
Keoghan met with producer Dylan Clark about the role, but was informed that the part of the Riddler had already been filled, at that point by Jonah Hill, and later by Paul Dano. However, four months later, he got a call from his agent: “The Batman wants you to play the Joker – but you cannot tell anyone.”
Reeves has already made it clear that Joker's appearance wasn't necessarily setting up the character's return for the planned sequel, The Batman: Part II, but Keoghan is hopeful that he will get to reprise the role at some point.
“As soon as that call comes, I’m there man, I’m there.”
When the new DCU slate was announced, James Gunn confirmed that Reeves' "BatVerse" will remain separate from the DCU, so this movie, along with Todd Phillips' Joker sequel, will be considered "Elseworlds" tales. A new actor will down the cape and cowl for Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which will also feature a different take on Robin - The Caped Crusader's son, Damian Wayne.
Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Andy Serkis, Jeffrey Wright, and Colin Farrell are all expected to reprise their respective roles, and there are rumors that the sequel will also feature the debut of Dick Grayson, aka the original Robin.
Specific plot details are still under wraps, but we know the Max Penguin spin-off series will set up the story. Clayface is also rumored to be involved in some capacity. As far as official info goes, Reeves has stated that his sequel will continue this "epic crime saga," but that's about all we have to go on.