See Barry Keoghan’s Failed Riddler Audition

Barry Keoghan has an unsuccessful audition to play the Riddler that ended up getting the role of the Joker.

By Joshua Jones | Published

Director Matt Reeves’ The Batman ended with a surprise appearance of Barry Keoghan’s The Joker. The actor initially auditioned for the role of Riddler in the film, and it appears from the video release that he tried going for more of an A Clockwork Orange vibe for his performance. Although Keoghan ultimately didn’t get the central villain role, his audition made an impression on the creators and studio.

Matt Reeves explained in an interview with IGN that the Joker fans saw sharing a laugh with Paul Dano’s Riddler was as a proto-Joker. He’d yet to fully embrace his psychotic side despite having the scars and bleached white skin, which have become some of the recognizable features of the iconic comic book character. A deleted scene of Barry Keoghan’s Joker talking with Batman was released online shortly after Reeves’ film debuted in theaters.

barry keoghan joker

Barry Keoghan’s Joker draws heavy comparisons to the Death of the Family arc in the comics. For those unaware, Joker’s entire face is cut off and reattached during the arc. The design is one of the most gruesome in the character’s history and further reflects the Joker’s complexity and unpredictable nature.

When describing Barry Keoghan’s Joker, Reeves explained that “life has been a cruel joke for him,” and he’d eventually become the character fans know him as. His views on life are based on his appearance. For this Joker, life is undesirable, disgusting, and hard to look at in many ways. However, it can also be somewhat interesting if you pay close attention.

Barry Keoghan’s Joker and the Gotham Reeves created share many of the same qualities. For as twisted and dark as the city may be, something about it pulls the characters and those reading the comics in. Perhaps it’s the hope that someone or something can fix it, turn it into something beautiful.

But could this Joker be fixed? That depends on where Reeves and the studio want to take the character. We reported through our trusted and proven sources that Reeves was working on a project centering on Barry Keoghan’s Joker. However, there has been no confirmation from either Reeves or Warner Bros. Discovery.

We do know Reeves is working on an HBO Max show focusing on Collin Farrell’s Penguin. There are also rumblings of a show based on Arkham Asylum, which could potentially bring back Barry Keoghan. While an entire show on Joker may give the character more screen time, there is something fascinating about Keoghan’s Joker interacting with other criminals, as we saw at the end of The Batman.

There is also the question of when fans can return to the world Reeves created. The Penguin show has yet to be given a release date, and The Batman 2 was briefly mentioned during CinemaCon 2022. Fans aren’t even sure whether the tease of Barry Keoghan at the end of the first film means he’ll be the villain in the sequel.

As of now, it’s just funny to think Barry Keoghan almost received the role of Riddler. One has to wonder if Keoghan would’ve got the part, who would be cast opposite him as Joker? That’s a question only those making the movie probably know, or maybe even Riddler himself.