‘The Batman’ Reveals [Spoiler] In Epic Cameo: Who Plays The Villain & More You Need To Know

There's one jaw-dropping scene in 'The Batman' that has everyone talking. This key moment between Riddler and this other fan-favorite villain totally sets up a 'Batman' sequel. SPOILERS!

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Barry Keoghan
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Image Credit: Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

The Riddler and Carmine Falcone are the main enemies in The Batman, but one key scene seemingly revealed Batman’s next foe in an inevitable sequel. When The Riddler is arrested and thrown in Arkham Asylum after wreaking havoc on Gotham, he comes in contact with a fellow Arkham prisoner. While we never see his face, every Batman fan knows exactly who this prisoner is: The Joker.

“One day you’re on top, the next day you’re a clown,” the Arkham prisoner says, hinting in a major way that he is The Joker (or will become him very, very soon). He goes on to tell Riddler that “Gotham loves a comeback story.”

Paul Dano
Paul Dano as The Riddler. (Warner Bros.)

When Riddler asks who this mysterious fellow prisoner is, The Joker replies, “Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?” There’s a brief, shadowy glimpse of The Joker’s scarred face through the prison door. The scene ends with The Joker’s maniacal laugh echoing in the halls of Arkham, with Riddler joining in.

Who Was The Joker At The End Of ‘The Batman’?

The question everyone wants to know is, who is The Joker in The Batman? The new Joker is played by Irish actor Barry Keoghan, best known for his recent portrayal of Druig in Marvel’s Eternals.

His role in The Batman has long been kept under wraps — with good reason. Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime is a coveted role, one that’s been taken on by the likes of Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, Jared Leto, and Joaquin Phoenix. If Warner Bros. is planning on more Batman movies with Robert Pattinson, this is the perfect way to set up the sequel.

Barry Keoghan
Barry Keoghan is the new Joker. (Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock)

In the credits, Barry is not billed as The Joker, but rather as “Unseen Arkham Prisoner.” Back in August 2020 during DC FanDome, the 29-year-old was actually revealed to be playing another character: Office Stanley Merkel. Barry’s casting was revealed in the cast list under The Batman’s YouTube trailer. In the comics, Stanley Merkel is Jim Gordon’s partner who is eventually killed by Hangman. There’s no official word from the director or Warner Bros. about why Barry was initially credited as Stanley Merkel.

‘The Batman’ Director Confirms The Joker

The Batman director Matt Reeves confirmed to IGN that Barry’s “Unseen Arkham Prisoner” role is a “proto-Joker.” He explained that two scenes were filmed with Barry as the soon-to-be Joker, but one was cut from the film. Matt revealed details about the deleted scene and the inspiration behind this version of the iconic villain.

“What’s interesting is that the reason that Joker’s in the movie is there was actually another scene that was earlier. And because the movie is not an origin tale for Batman, but it’s his early days, it really is an origin tale for the Rogue’s Gallery’s characters,” Matt said. “And for me, I think [it’s] this idea that the Joker is not yet the Joker, but they already have this relationship.”

Heath Ledger
The late Heath Ledger previously played The Joker. (Everett Collection)

He continued, “The scene that was not in the movie, the scene that this is really the companion to, which is actually a really cool scene that will release at some point, it’s a scene where Batman is so unnerved because the Riddler is writing to him. And he’s like, ‘Well, why is this guy writing to me?’ And he figures he’s got to profile this killer.”

Matt stressed that all the characters are “in their infancy,” including Batman. “So in the comics, these characters often declare their alter egos in response to the fact that there’s a Batman out there. And so here, we have a Joker who’s not yet the Joker,” he told IGN. The Batman is now in theaters.