When Matt Reeves’ The Batman was released earlier this year, one of its most hotly debated features was the surprise casting of Barry Keoghan as yet another live-action Joker. As it turns out, however, the iconic arch-nemesis was not the member of Bruce Wayne’s rogues’ gallery Keoghan originally auditioned for. According to an audition tape, which has just been made public, the Irish actor had actually been trying out for the role of Edward Nashton, better known as the film’s main baddie – The Riddler.
The footage shows Keoghan waltzing around an empty hallway with a cane and an outfit inspired by the character’s comic book appearance. According to the Eternals star, via a report by GQ UK, he sent his tape unsolicited to Reeves’ team before being told that the production had already filled the role. Of course, Paul Dano eventually landed the part after Jonah Hill passed, playing a version of the Riddler that felt far more original than most fans were expecting. Luckily for Keoghan, the film wasn’t done casting, and he received news from his agent four months later that The Batman wanted him for The Joker instead.
The tease that Joker does exist in Reeves’ universe seemed like a set-up for the sequel, but the director has gone on record to say that isn’t exactly the case. Whether or not the villain appears in The Batman 2 is still up in the air, but Keoghan says he’ll be ready if the call does come in:
As soon as that call comes I’m there, man, I’m there.Barry Keoghan