Some actors landed their most recognizable roles with a stroke of sheer luck. Stories tell that Harrison Ford did some carpentry work in Lucas’ office while Lucas was casting for the role of Han Solo; Charlize Theron caused a scene when trying to cash a check, and Mel Gibson drove his friend to audition for Mad Max but ended up landing the role. According to Deadline, Barry Keoghan tried auditioning for a completely separate role but ended up landing the role of Joker in 2022’s The Batman.
Barry Keoghan was auditioning for the role of Riddler in The Batman but wound up as the next Joker instead.
Instead of auditioning for the Joker, Barry Keoghan, an Irish actor known for his roles in The Banshees of Inisherin and The Killing of a Sacred Dear, revealed that he heard there might be an opening for the role of the Riddler in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson. While no one asked the actor to audition for the role and no one encouraged him to send in a tape, Keoghan sent in a tape that featured him walking down a hallway in slow motion, probably for added dramatic effect, and without speaking a word.
While Barry Keoghan did audition for Riddler, the role initially went to Jonah Hill before finally reaching Paul Dano.
As per the actor’s own accord, he made the whole thing up, aiming for more of a Kubrick-y aesthetics: you can see the Barry Keoghan dressed in an all-black outfit with green suspenders and a bowler hat—oddly and satisfyingly channeling Malcolm McDowell’s character from Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange—strolling down a narrow hallway. Of his own accord, his intention was to exude swag while simultaneously presenting his idea of the character. And he just sent the tape in, no questions asked. But it would seem that he was meant to play the Joker.
While Barry Keoghan did audition for Riddler, the role initially went to Jonah Hill before finally reaching Paul Dano—who, admittedly, did a really good job of portraying the character—Keoghan’s agent called the actor to tell him that Matt Reevers wanted him to play the Joker in his 2022’s The Batman. And so, it came to be; Barry Keoghan’s portrayal of Joker came in the final moments of the movie, but the audience was genuinely surprised to glimpse the Clown Prince of Crime.
Barry Keoghan’s Joker, while generally reduced to a cameo appearance, came as a surprise because the audience believed that Keoghan was set to appear as Gotham City Police Officer Stanley Merkel—Commissioner Gordon’s partner. It wasn’t until after the movie’s release that Reeves released a five-minute long deleted scene from The Batman, in which Robert Pattinson’s Caped Crusader interrogates Barry Keoghan’s Joker.
Barry Keoghan’s Joker, while generally reduced to a cameo appearance, came as a surprise because the audience believed that Keoghan was set to appear as Gotham City Police Officer Stanley Merkel.
Barry Keoghan stated that he would be delighted to reprise his role in any future project related to The Batman. However, the current state of The Batman 2 is either unknown or held under wraps so tight that we can’t even speculate whether the movie would feature the Joker or not. It’s worth noting that every actor who ever portrayed the Joker brought something new to the table, but Keoghan’s portrayal does seem more grounded and closer to the source material. Whatever the case may be, we’ll have to wait for The Batman 2 to find out.