The Batman director Matt Reeves has spoken about cutting a scene starring Barry Keoghan. Look away now, as there are spoilers ahead for The Batman movie and Keoghan's character.


The superhero film isn't an origin story for the caped crusader, but for the Dark Knight's most infamous antagonist. Viewers are introduced to Keoghan's sinister prisoner when he speaks with Paul Dano's Riddler/Edward Nashton, who's in a neighbouring cell at Arkham State Hospital.

They form a close bond when the prisoner attempts to cheer the Riddler up after he loses his battle against Batman, and delivers the Riddler's signature line, "Riddle me this", when asking a riddle whose answer the Riddler correctly guesses is "a friend." We only see little of the prisoner as he's obscured by a shadow, but his rictus grin, maniacal laugh and trademark green hair are clearly visible.

The unnamed Arkham Prisoner is unveiled to be none other than the Joker.

Despite initial reports that Keoghan would be playing Gotham City Police Department officer Stanley Merkel in the film – as a ruse to throw fans off – the Irish actor only appears in the one scene towards the end of the film.

Reeves has revealed that he filmed two scenes featuring Keoghan as the Joker, but the earlier one ended up on the cutting room floor.

Barry Keoghan at The Batman World Premiere (Getty Images)
Barry Keoghan at The Batman World Premiere (Getty Images) Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Discussing the deleted scene, and his idea around the Joker's look, the filmmaker told IGN: "What's interesting is that the reason that Joker's in the movie is there was actually another scene that was earlier. And because the movie is not an origin tale for Batman, but it's his early days, it really is an origin tale for the Rogue's Gallery's characters. And for me, I think [it’s] this idea that the Joker is not yet the Joker, but they already have this relationship."

He continued: "The scene that was not in the movie, the scene that this is really the companion to, which is actually a really cool scene that will release at some point, it's a scene where Batman is so unnerved because the Riddler is writing to him. And he's like, ‘Well, why is this guy writing to me?’ And he figures he's got to profile this killer.

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"He goes to see another killer that he's clearly had an experience with in these first two years. And this killer in this story is not yet the character that we come to know, right? So everybody's in their infancy. So in the comics, these characters often declare their alter egos in response to the fact that there's a Batman out there. And so here, we have a Joker who's not yet the Joker."

Elsewhere from The Batman cast, Keoghan is also known for his role as Druig in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the film Eternals.

Recent portrayals of The Joker have included Joaquin Phoenix in Joker and Jared Leto in Suicide Squad and Zack Snyder's Justice League.

The Batman is out now in cinemas. While you’re waiting, check out more of our Movies hub, or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.


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