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The Big Problem Fans Of The Batman Have With That Major Cameo At The End

The following article contains spoilers for "The Batman."

With "The Batman" now out in theaters for all to see, the movie appears like a resounding success. People can't stop talking about the film on social media as it continues racking up words of praise. By and large, audiences love the fact that "The Batman" finally made good to make Bruce Wayne the true world's greatest detective on the big screen. Combine that with stellar action, a wonderful supporting cast, and exciting teases for the future, and "The Batman" seems like it will stand the test of time as one of the all-time great Dark Knight stories.

Of course, now that the film is out and people have had time to marinate on it for a little while, it's not above criticism. No movie is perfect, and superhero fans have never had any problem letting their feelings known when they believe a work of art can do better. And plenty of people have already taken to Reddit to talk about that big cameo toward the end of the film. 

After Riddler (Paul Dano) is locked up in Arkham, he speaks to his next-door cellmate. This individual never reveals a name, and in the credits, they're listed as "Unseen Arkham Prisoner," but by several clues, many have guessed this individual is Joker. It appears some believe Joker has been played out as of late, and they'd love if a different villain took the reins for the next cinematic Batman outing.

Many think Joker's been done to death

Given the fact this unseen Arkham prisoner, played by Barry Keoghan, references clowns and laughs maniacally at the end of his speech, it's no wonder people believe he's the Joker. Those are the character's trademarks, after all. In any other superhero movie, this would be a tease that Joker will be the villain in the next Batman movie. There are plenty of people who believe the sequel would be better suited to have a different antagonist.

Redditor u/dreadfuldiego kickstarted a thread talking about how there have been too many Jokers as of late, saying, "Batman has the most distinct and varied gallery of villains and yet we are doing the Joker again. Barry Keoghan (which is great in anything) is the third live action Joker in six years, I wish we could get villains that weren't properly explored in movies yet." The Jokers he's referring to appear to be Jared Leto's version depicted in "Suicide Squad" and "Zack Snyder's Justice League" as well as the one played by Joaquin Phoenix in 2019's "Joker." It's a lot of the same, so to avoid people burning out on Joker's shenanigans, some people believe "The Batman 2" would be better off exploring new characters. 

Still, there are those who believe Keoghan could have been someone else entirely, with u/ninjyte writing, "According to the teaser website from the post-credits scene it seems that Barry Keoghan might actually be Hush." Hush is an oft-ignored Batman rogue who's actually Thomas Elliot, and he was hinted at in the film itself. When Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) learns what his father did to a reporter, we discover the reporter's last name was Elliot. There are many directions for a sequel to go, and for a subset of fans, they'd love to see the road less traveled.

Barry Keoghan won't be Hush, but someone else could ...

While many fans have speculated Barry Keoghan could be Hush, director Matt Reeves has already shot that idea down. In an interview with IGN, Reeves revealed that the unseen Arkham prisoner is, in fact, Joker, albeit a prototype version who may not necessarily be fully formed at this point. It's possible Reeves just wanted audiences to know Joker is out in this universe, but he may not inherently be the big bad of the sequel.

Perhaps we'll get a version of the deleted scene that didn't wind up in "The Batman" in a forthcoming movie, which Reeves described, "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." The killer in question is Joker in a reportedly similar scene to the Clarice Starling/Hannibal Lecter sequences in "Silence of the Lambs." We could see a scene like it play out in "The Batman 2," where Bruce Wayne is at the end of his ropes with Hush, so he turns to another madman to stop him.

That's assuming Hush even becomes the villain for the sequel. Batman has an expansive rogues gallery, and fans have speculated a future villain could be anyone from Mr. Freeze to the Court of Owls. It's a big universe out there, and it's clear the newest version of the Caped Crusader is just getting started.