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The next story incorporates monumental spoilers for The Batman. Don’t learn on for those who do not wish to be spoiled!
There are a handful of main villains in The Batman, they usually’re achieved impeccably. At the beginning, in fact, we have got The Riddler (Paul Dano), introduced this time by director Matt Reeves with a Zodiac Killer spin. There’s additionally crime boss Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), a charismatic and ruthless determine who works within the shadows. And there is Falcone’s right-hand man, The Penguin (one way or the other, Colin Farrell), filled with bluster and albeit hilarious. The film strikes the uncommon three-villain steadiness the place it by no means feels an excessive amount of they usually all match into the plot. However all through The Batman‘s close to 3-hour runtime, viewers in all probability in the end had the identical thought: is the massive man going to be concerned one way or the other? Are we going to listen to one thing about The Joker?
The Joker, Batman’s arch-nemesis and Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime, has at all times been integral to the Darkish Knight’s on-screen story. In Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, Joker (Jack Nicholson) was the primary villain. Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins went one other course with its origin story, however ended with a cliffhanger teasing The Joker, who would enter within the sequel, The Darkish Knight, in a legendary, Academy Award-winning flip by actor Heath Ledger. Even the DCEU had its personal Joker, performed by Jared Leto and exhibiting up in Suicide Squad and Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
So questioning if and when the Joker would make his manner into The Batman is a superbly affordable thought. And people villains are so compelling, that you just additionally in all probability had the thought—who wants the Joker? However Matt Reeves is aware of. On the finish of the film, after Riddler’s plan has gone belly-up, he is sitting in jail when a mysterious voice begins speaking to him.
The voice tells him by the cell wall: “One minute you are on high, the subsequent…you are a clown.” We by no means get a full glimpse of Riddler’s neighbor’s face, however we see—a distorted, creepy smile—and listen to—a maniacal snicker—sufficient to have an thought of precisely who we’re coping with. This prisoner tells Riddler he is usually a new buddy, however of us, it looks like we have got ourselves a Joker.
Was that the Joker in The Batman?
We by no means hear him referred to by any particular identify, however there is no doubt—Riddler’s cellmate was The Joker—the smile, snicker, and customarily menacing presence offers it away.
Barry Keoghan is formally credited as “Unseen Arkham Prisoner”… however he is the Joker.
Assuming a sequel to The Batman will get made, it’s going to be thrilling to observe Keoghan tackle the function of maybe probably the most well-known villain in superhero historical past. And contemplating the truth that two of the final three actors to play the function have gained Oscars for his or her performances—Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker—he is in all probability excited to.
It additionally makes an fascinating case, the place Keoghan is enjoying a key function in each a DC property (The Joker, clearly), and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (he performs Druig in Eternals). A sequel or continuation to Eternals hasn’t but been introduced, however it will be stunning if we did not wind up seeing Keoghan in each continuities for years to return.
And contemplating Farrell’s Penguin continues to be alive, it creates the chance for the duo—who starred collectively within the underrated psychological thriller The Killing of a Sacred Deer—to have an on-screen reunion. Let’s maintain out some hope for that, we could? The fireworks await.
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