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Barry Keoghan Shares The Initial ‘Batman’ Role He Wanted Instead Of Joker

He even made his own audition tape for the character before being cast as the Joker.

In a new interview with GQ, Irish actor Barry Keoghan revealed that despite his eventual portrayal of Joker in 2022’s ‘The Batman,’ he initially had his sights set on a different role in Gotham City.

Keoghan explained that he created his own audition tape for this role after reading about the casting call for the new Batman film:

“Originally, there was no audition. I just made myself an audition tape ’cause I saw an article saying that they wanted the Riddler and the new Batman. I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’d love to play that.’ I just made a tape. I said, ‘Feck, I’ma buy a cane and a hat, just find myself a corridor and film myself walking down it, add some little bit of a swag to it, and a bit of music, and let’s see, will that get me an audition?’ So I did that, yeah. And they said, ‘No. But would you wanna play the Joker?’ I was like, ‘Yep!'”

However, Keoghan accepted the role only to face a six-hour makeup process that was cut short:

“That took six hours to get into that, and it was like, ‘Oh, man! I couldn’t sit still for six hours.’ I really couldn’t. And then I remember we were on five hours, and then someone came in and went, ‘We’re shutting production down. There’s COVID.’ I was like, ‘Huh? Really? What? What happened?'”

In Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman,’ Keoghan’s performance as Joker was seen only briefly in the film and more extensively in a deleted scene. His role was initially kept under wraps, credited only as ‘Unseen Arkham Prisoner.’ Reeves later confirmed that Keoghan was indeed the Joker.

You can watch the rest of the interview below.

Issues Surrounding the Production of ‘The Batman’

The Batman‘ is a reboot of the Batman film franchise released in 2022. It was different from previous adaptations, focusing on Batman’s detective skills and drawing inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock and the New Hollywood era. The film starred Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman, alongside a cast including Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, and Colin Farrell.

Originally part of the DC Extended Universe with Ben Affleck at the helm, the project underwent some changes when Matt Reeves took over. Pattinson was cast as Batman in May 2019, with filming commencing in January 2020 in the United Kingdom. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays, leading to filming resuming later in the year and concluding in March 2021.

Will Keoghan Reprise His Role as Joker?

Looking ahead, ‘The Batman’ is set to spawn a new trilogy and a Batman-focused shared universe that is separate from the DCEU. The sequel, titled ‘The Batman – Part II,’ is scheduled for release on October 3, 2025, with Pattinson and Reeves reprising their roles.

The success of ‘The Batman’ has also paved the way for spin-off series on HBO Max, including one focused on the Penguin, set to premiere in late 2024, and another based on Arkham Asylum, which promises a horror-infused exploration of the institution and its inhabitants.

Keoghan, on the other hand, is involved in several upcoming projects, including ‘Masters of the Air,’ ‘Bring Them Down,’ ‘Bird,’ and an untitled collaboration with the Weeknd and Trey Edward Shults.

You can watch Keoghan’s audition video for The Riddler below.

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