Barry Keoghan showed up at the very end of Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” to show off a laugh that heavily suggested he was a new iteration of the Joker. Then came the official release of an extended deleted scene from the film that confirmed his Joker casting. But it turns out Keoghan never planned to become the new Joker. Instead, he sent in an unsolicited audition tape to Reeves’ team to play the Riddler when he heard about “The Batman” for the first time. The audition tape has finally been released in an official capacity online, courtesy of Keoghan via GQ UK (watch it in the video below).
“I wanted to be Riddler,” Keoghan told the publication, adding that a “Batman” producer informed him not long after he sent the tape in that the role of Riddler had already been filled (first by Jonah Hill, then by Paul Dano). Four months later, the actor got a call with a different request to star in “The Batman.”
“’The Batman’ wants you to play the Joker — but you cannot tell anyone,” Keoghan was told by his agent.
While Keoghan’s audition tape was a failure in terms of playing Riddler, it ended up being a success in helping him nab the part of Joker. The actor told GQ UK that his Joker is “a bit charming and a bit hurt” and “a broken-down boy.” Keoghan refused to let the makeup team change his blue eyes for the role.
“I wanted some sort of human in there behind the makeup,” the actor said. “I want people to relate to him…[to know] this is a façade he puts on.”
After the deleted scene was released online, Keoghan noticed that a list of the best movie Jokers placed him at number four. He texted director Matt Reeves the news, but he’s still waiting on Reeves to call him back with an offer to reprise Joker in “The Batman 2.”
“As soon as that call comes I’m there, man, I’m there,” Keoghan said.
Reeves told Variety after “The Batman” opened in theaters that including Keoghan’s Joker in the film was not an inherent tease for the character’s return in a sequel. As the director stressed, “It’s not an Easter egg scene. It’s not one of those end credits Marvel or DC scenes where it’s going, like, ‘Hey, here’s the next movie!’ In fact, I have no idea when or if we would return to that character in the movies.”
As for Keoghan’s Riddler audition tape, the brief clip finds the actor walking out of an elevator in trousers held up by green suspenders. The actor carries a cane and has a bloody handprint across his cheek. The audition tape is set to Saint-Saëns’ “Danse Macabre.” Watch the audition in the video below.