Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What Fans Really Think Of Barry Keoghan's Joker

Although Barry Keoghan plays the Joker in "The Batman," he only appears for a single scene where he bonds with The Riddler (Paul Dano) in Arkham State Hospital. The brief glimpse audiences got of him left them hungry for more, and that appetite was sated with the release of a brand new deleted scene in which Batman (Robert Pattinson) visits Joker to ask for help tracking down The Riddler. The five-minute scene gives us our best look yet at Keoghan's version of the Clown Prince of Crime, and it's a sight to behold. While Joker's whole face is never fully visible, usually blurred through the glass barrier between him and the Dark Knight, we get some close-ups on his nightmarish grin and sunken eyes. Meanwhile, the back of his head is a gruesome patchwork of green hair and what appear to be burn wounds.

When Batman shows Joker a file compiled on The Riddler and asks for his opinion, Joker taunts Batman, telling him that The Riddler's tactics are similar to his own, and suggesting that Batman is having a hard time catching the killer because, deep down, he thinks The Riddler's victims deserved what happened to them.

It's a thrilling scene that many fans wish had been included in the theatrical cut of the film, even if that inclusion would have officially pushed the movie's runtime past the three-hour mark. The clip showcases Keoghan's range, especially in comparison to his recent turn as the conflicted hero Druig in Marvel's "Eternals" last year. Across social media, fans of "The Batman" went wild over the scene mere moments after it was released, and struck up vigorous discussion of Barry Keoghan's dynamic new take on the Joker.

Fans love the dynamic between Pattinson's Batman and Keoghan's Joker

When Batman visits Joker in the deleted "The Batman" scene, the dialogue immediately implies that the two have already tangled. Pattinson's Batman is relatively new, having only been on his crimefighting mission for just shy of two years (since Reeves based the movie on the comic "Batman: Year One," among others), but has already put his archnemesis behind bars. Joker remarks, "Almost our anniversary, isn't it?" seeming to imply at least a year of history between the pair. He also seems to be intricately familiar with how Batman thinks, telling the Caped Crusader that he's got more in common with The Riddler than he's willing to admit.

Several fans were enraptured by the dynamic. On the YouTube video of the scene posted by Warner Bros. Pictures, Matheus AR commented, "This Clarice-Hannibal dynamic between Batman and Joker has so much potential, I hope they do more of this." Another user, Sam DiMauro echoed the sentiment, writing, "God I love the fact that they have an already established history and dynamic with one another."

Over on the /r/DC_Cinematic subreddit, users seemed to agree. u/matdevine21 opined, "Loving Pattersons [sic] Batman, emotionally a brick wall, still learning but overconfident whilst still growing into the Batman persona. Batman doesn't appreciate the danger of going to Joker, feeding into his mania and perception of their relationship, really fascinating acting work by both."

Fans are divided on the Joker's new look

Barry Keoghan's Joker is by far the most grotesque we've seen on the big screen, a stark contrast to the more realistic version of the character we saw Joaquin Phoenix play in "Joker" and even outdoing Heath Ledger's scarred appearance in "The Dark Knight." Beneath layers of prosthetics and FX makeup, the "Eternals" star is barely recognizable. Patchy hair gives way to hideous, blistered wounds across his head and hands, and his mangled grin is a lopsided maw of mismatched teeth. His look is less "Joker" and more "Killer Clowns from Outer Space." It's a bold look that most people will probably have an opinion on after watching the newly released deleted scene from "The Batman," and sure enough, fans seem to be split on it.

On the r/DC_Cinematic and r/Batman subreddits, discussion about the new look was plentiful. Some fans were unsure what to think of Keoghan's wounded appearance, with u/ProfessionalNobody0 commenting, "Disfigured face is fine I think, and I know he's supposed to have a congenital disorder so disgusting mouth, I get it. But I definitely don't like that he's almost bald." u/pokemaster978 chimed in, "The makeup on Barry's Joker is actually pretty cool. Gives heavy Heath Ledger vibes. Not a fan of the lost hair though." Still, other fans immediately loved what they were seeing. u/SmaugRancor enthused, "THIS is what I always wanted the Joker to look like in live-action. Creepy and monstrous as hell."

However, some fans just didn't take to the Joker's new visage. u/deano_ue wrote, "Jesus that design is terrible. They do know it wasn't the make up that made ledger a great joker. It's like someone said ohh the scars were cool what if we gave him scars on his scars."

Some fans compared Keoghan's performance to Heath Ledger's in The Dark Knight

Maybe it's because playing the Joker can be so hit-or-miss, with Jared Leto's tattooed take on the clown being regularly ranked as the worst cinematic version of the character to date. Maybe it's the way Barry Keoghan brings a feeling of real history to the character, imbuing life to the villain with his body language and menacing dialogue. Something about this new Joker is resonating with fans, and many are even hailing Keoghan's performance as a new gold standard worthy of comparison to Heath Ledger's iconic Joker in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight."

When Barry Keoghan posted a still from the scene on his Twitter account, @Saksham14011808 replied, "It's sacrilegious but you might have just aced Heath Ledger in a 4 minute clip. Bloody brilliant." Elsewhere, @PTASnyder remarked, "This reminds me of Heath Ledger, a hideous, monstrous-looking #Joker."

Not everyone was as pleased with the resemblance — a sentiment summed up by @yeqks, who wrote, "Can we stop making every new cinematic iteration of the joker a repeat of Heath Ledger? Like yeah Heath nailed the role but that doesn't mean you should repeatedly try to replicate the style and energy he brought to the character." For some, that may be a valid complaint, but other fans believe there's no way to accurately portray the Joker without mimicking some aspects of Ledger's performance. As @Cade_Onder put it, "I don't get why people say Barry Keoghan is doing a Heath Ledger impression in The Batman. That's just the Joker lmao."