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This Look At Barry Keoghan As The Joker Is Flat-Out Terrifying

Matt Reeves' "The Batman" is everywhere right now. The first Batman solo movie in 10 years has made more than $164 million at the American box office just six days into its theatrical run, and according to Box Office Mojo, it's already the second-highest-grossing film of 2022. In "The Batman," Robert Pattinson's Batman / Bruce Wayne has been patrolling Gotham City's streets at night for nearly two years with little to show for it. His fledgling partnership with police lieutenant James Gordon leaves the two at odds with the rest of the city's power structure, and it all comes to head when the Riddler (Paul Dano) starts killing Gotham politicians.

Dano's depiction of the Riddler was the first time the character appears in live-action Batman content since Jim Carrey played the role in 1995's "Batman Forever." It's a distinctly different approach; Dano's character appears much more like a villain in a serial killer movie than Carrey's loud, bombastic trickster. "The Batman" also includes villains The Penguin (Colin Farrell), who provides obstacles as Batman tries to solve the Riddler's mysteries, as well as Batman film stalwarts Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) and Selina Kyle / Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz). Perhaps the most intriguing villain who appears in the movie, though, is one who makes only an uncredited cameo appearance after the Riddler has been incarcerated at the end of the film.

Fan art of Barry Keoghan as the Joker creates hype for the character's next appearance

According to IMDB, Barry Keoghan is only credited as Unseen Arkham Prisoner in "The Batman," but when he appears imprisoned alongside the Riddler at the end of the movie, nobody could mistake him for Batman's arch-nemesis, the Joker. Reeves attempts to set up a litany of Batman villains for his burgeoning cinematic universe. In fact, a deleted scene shows Batman visiting Keoghan in prison to get a profile on the Riddler has fans wondering what the actor would be like as the clown prince of crime. While Reeves has said these villains are in their infancy in "The Batman," it's clear Keoghan's character will take on the Joker title in whatever future sequel awaits Robert Pattinson's Batman. In the meantime, fans like Instagram user arifinity_ are offering up sample art of what Keoghan's Joker could look like with green hair, clown makeup, and an exaggerated red smile. Behind Keoghan's Joker is grafitti similar to what is seen in "The Batman," but Joker-themed; "ha, ha, ha" and "have a laugh" feature most notably. Keoghan's prison jumpsuit wears the name "Joe," although it's unclear what Reeves' Joker's real name is as of yet.

Reeves told IGN that his conception of Keoghan's pre-Joker stage involves the character having a condition that makes it impossible for him to stop smiling, making his Joker title a reflection of having lived life as a "cruel joke." However, the director stressed that Keoghan's inclusion is not necessarily meant to tease the Joker as a villain for his next movie.

"I don't know that the Joker would be in the next movie, but I can tell you that here's what you're seeing, is an early days version of this character, and trouble, as always, is brewing in Gotham," Reeves told IGN. For the most part, fans are liking the potential they see in a new kind of Joker.

Fans are reacting well to Barry Keoghan's Joker

Instagram user arifinity_ said they enjoyed "The Batman" in the Instagram post containing their interpretation of how Keoghan's Joker could look, complimenting the film's portrayal of Batman as a detective.

"It's clear as day that [this Batman] shines in that same armour with the same craft and intelligence, stealth and morale, but also embraces his inner rage at times...That one scene (iykyk) was exceptional" they wrote.

Reactions to the user's Joker fan art — the work positions the right half of Pattinson's Batman opposite the left half of Keoghan as the Joker, emphasizing the yin-yang nature of their relationship — appear positive. Plenty of users left fire emojis in the comments of the post; the word "epic" was tossed around, and one user's comment implied they did not yet know that Keoghan appears in the movie. One user already knew they approved mightily of the Joker fan art and of Keoghan in the role. Audiences don't see much of Keoghan at all in his one scene, but once his character establishes a budding friendship with Dano's Riddler, an unmistakable laugh signals plenty of trouble for Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne and Jeffrey Wright's James Gordon.

"Love this. I wasn't so sure of Barry playing the Joker but when I saw it... HIS LAUGH STOLE THE SHOW," Instagram user attila7_ wrote.