Paul Dano put his own critically-acclaimed stamp on Edward Nygma/The Riddler when The Batman hit theaters earlier this year. Regardless, he wasn’t the only actor who campaigned to play the Dark Knight’s most quizzical foe. Jonah Hill was also in the running to play the character before exiting negotiations in late 2019. But fans might be surprised to hear that another actor who lobbied for the part was Barry Keoghan, who appeared in a brief scene near the end of the film as The Joker.
Keoghan discussed the timeline of his Batman involvement in a new profile for GQ. After getting wind that Riddler would be the main adversary in Matt Reeves’ then-upcoming reboot, he filmed his own audition tape and sent it off to WB. Eventually, Keoghan posted the tape on his official Vimeo account, where it has remained for the last three years. If you haven’t seen it already, you can check it out below.
— Barry Keoghan (@BarryKeoghan) October 3, 2022
In the video, Keoghan strikes a balance between Jim Carrey’s over-the-top Riddler performance in 1995’s Batman Forever and Dano’s Zodiac Killer-inspired portrayal that ended up gracing the screen this year. Taking visual cues from Alex DeLarge of A Clockwork Orange fame, Keoghan sports a bowler hat, suspenders, and walking stick combo that falls more in line with Riddler’s classic comic book appearance than Dano’s version. Ultimately, this wasn’t what The Batman’s producers were looking for. But four months after he submitted the tape, producer Dylan Clark reached out to Keoghan with another offer in mind.
“The Batman wants you to play the Joker,” Keoghan’s agent reportedly told him. “But you cannot tell anyone.”
Keoghan’s Joker cameo remained a secret until the film premiered back in March. Less than a month later, Warner Bros. released a five-minute deleted scene that featured Robert Pattinson’s Batman visiting the Clown Prince of Crime in Arkham Asylum. Ordinarily, this would suggest that Joker is going to play a much larger role in the sequel. But for now, Keoghan’s return as the villain is still up in the air, even if he has thought long and hard about what makes the character tick.
“I wanted some sort of human in there behind the makeup,” said Keoghan. “I want people to relate to him… [to know] this is a façade he puts on. [He’s] a broken-down boy. […] As soon as that call [for The Batman 2] comes, I’m there man, I’m there.”
The Batman is now on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD. The film is also available to stream on HBO Max.
Do you think The Joker was a better fit for Keoghan than The Riddler? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Batman by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo Omnibus Vol. 1
We are also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising program also provides a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.