When any new Batman project is announced, one of the first questions they have to answer is will it feature the Joker and if so, who will be playing him. So far the Joker has featured somewhere in most Batman films, from Jack Nicholson’s gleefully deranged turn in Batmanthrough Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning portrayal in The Dark Knightand in other projects such as Zack Snyder’s Justice League and the TV series Gotham. While Robert Pattinson’s latest iteration of the Caped Crusader has his hands full with villains like the Riddler and Penguin in The Batmanquestions about whether the franchise will follow Christopher Nolan’s trilogy in introducing the Joker as the main villain of the sequel is something Matt Reeves has been addressing.
Expect MAJOR SPOILERS for The Batman in the rest of this article.
For a long time, the presence of the Joker in The Batman was a complete unknown, but now the movie is out in theaters, it has been revealed that the clown prince of Gotham is very much a part of the world being created by Reeves, and as the director has now revealed he will be a part of the future of the franchise. However, after making a brief but potentially game-changing appearance in the final scenes, Eternals and Dunkirk star Barry Keoghan is now confirmed to be the next actor to take on the iconic role, but that may not be in The Batman 2.
During a discussion with IGNReeves was asked whether Joker was a main player in the sequel to The Batman. While he made it clear that the notorious enemy of Batman will be a part of the franchise, he also suggested that his rise to lead villain could be a long game and not a quick crowd pleaser. He said:
“The scene is not meant to be there to say, like, ‘Oh, there’s an easter egg, the next movie is X.’. Like, I do not know that the Joker would be in the next movie, but I can tell you is that here’s what you’re seeing is an early days version of the character, and trouble, as always, is brewing in Gotham. “
The Joker Will Become The Villain We Know In The Batman’s Future, But Will Clearly Not Be Rushed
In almost all of his big screen appearances, the Joker has been seen as a one-shot character, which does not match his longevity as a comic book arch-villain. In Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, the first big screen version of the character was killed when falling to his death while trying to escape Michael Keaton’s Caped Crusader. Heath Ledger’s Joker survived in The Dark Knightwith a strong indication that he would have returned in The Dark Knight Rises had the actor not passed away shortly after completing the movie, turning the character into another one-movie-only character in that trilogy.
In The Batman, Keoghan’s Joker is clearly a small bookmark to let people know that he is part of this version of Gotham. From Reeves’ comments, it seems that he is not looking to make a quick win with Joker, which could well mean that he will continue to be a background presence the next time we see Robert Pattinson’s Batman on the big screen. Clearly Reeves set out to make a different Batman movie, and it looks like he also wants to handle an icon like the Joker in that same way. So we should expect to see Barry Keoghan reach his full potential as Joker, but maybe not in the immediate future.
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