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Will A New Joker Be Introduced In Matt Reeves' Batman Trilogy?

Time to crank up the old Bat-Rumor Mill once again.

The gossip is flying fast and furious that The Batman, the upcoming solo vehicle for the Caped Crusader from writer-director Matt Reeves, will be the first film in a trilogy which will see yet another version of the Joker laughing it up on the big screen. This rumor comes courtesy of The Direct, which cites Daniel Richtman, a freelance journalist and writer for SuperBroMovies whose name often pops up in association with movie industry rumors like this one. (He's the one who asserted, earlier this year, that Marvel was looking to cast Daniel Radcliffe as Moon Knight.)

Richtman reports that this new iteration of the Clown Prince of Crime will be completely separate from all past cinematic incarnations (including Heath Ledger's and Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar-winning versions), and even claims inside knowledge as to how Reeves plans to introduce the character. Apparently, he'll merely be alluded to in The Batman, before taking on a major role in that film's sequel, then appearing as part of a rogues' gallery in the third film of the planned trilogy. If this strategy sounds a touch familiar, well, there's a reason for that, which we'll get to in a moment.

Now, we know exactly nothing about Reeves' plans for the Dark Knight beyond The Batman, and we'd go so far as to say that if you were to guess that he might have some kind of plan for introducing his own version of the Joker in future films, you'd have at least a fifty-fifty chance of being right. Having said that, we're sure the question you want answered is whether or not this Richtman guy really has the inside skinny. Is his description of how Reeves intends to incorporate the Joker into his movies accurate?

Unfortunately, we're going to have to go with "probably not."

The rumor about a new Joker has a bunch of holes

There are plenty of reasons to doubt this rumor, but first and foremost, consider that the cast and crew of The Batman have run a tight ship. Sure, there have been some set photos that have hit the internet — but even those may have been "leaked" with Reeves' knowledge, and when it comes to plot details and the like, we know only what Reeves wants us to know. The idea that he would let such a major revelation escape into the wild is unlikely in the extreme.

Second, the tack Richtman describes is pretty much exactly how Christopher Nolan dealt with the character of the Joker in his Dark Knight trilogy: only alluded to in the first movie, then introduced in the second (and if Heath Ledger hadn't died, he almost certainly would've appeared in the third). Reeves seems to be doing everything he can to distance The Batman from previous film series, so it doesn't make much sense for him to directly mimic Nolan in this one respect.

Third, we don't even know for sure that there will be a Reeves-helmed trilogy of Batman movies. It has been reported that Warner Bros. is interested in having The Batman be the first film in a trilogy, but those reports are unconfirmed, and as an assumption of intent, that's kind of a given anyway. We do know (via Variety) that certain key cast members have contract options to appear in sequels, but if The Batman flops, it'll almost certainly be back to the drawing board.

Finally, since the number of additional media outlets to report this rumor stands at exactly zero, we're thinking that there probably isn't much to it. We'll just have to wait to see how The Batman is received by the DC faithful when it comes flapping into theaters. It's currently slated to do so on October 1, 2021.