We were so distracted by the concept of a Zodiac-coded Riddler, that we completely forgot about the Joker for a minute in 2022's The Batman. But he showed up anyway in a cheeky little ending scene and a deleted extra (if you count that, we do).
Throughout DCU history, some of the best actors around have stepped up to play the Clown Prince of Crime. But in the newest rendition, Barry Keoghan was the latest Joker actor on the block. Although his appearance was brief, it was definitely promising, and it left many fans wondering if he'd be stepping back into that clown make-up again for the upcoming sequel, The Batman 2.
“I can't really say anything about that, my man,” Keoghan recently said when asked about the Joker's return [via Etalk]. “But, you know, it would be exciting, wouldn't it? To see the Joker come to life again. My smile says all, you know what I mean?”
Pair that with an avoidance of eye-contact and a mischievous Keoghan smile, and we think we can put two and two together. While The Joker may not have been the head DC villain in the Matt Reeves movie, we always knew there’d be room for him going forward.
I mean, we’ve already had Catwoman, The Riddler, Penguin, and Carmine Falcone in the first movie. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to imagine that Joker will get more screen time in the follow-up.
That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean Joker will be the main villain going forward. If anything, it’s more likely he’ll appear again in a cameo capacity, probably from behind the bars of Arkham once more.
We know from the deleted scene of The Batman that Bruce Wayne consulted with Joker to get his take on the newest killer terrorizing Gotham City. Perhaps that side of their relationship will be explored a little more.
Recent rumors have suggested that other Batman villains are in the line-up for the upcoming DC movie. Clayface, Mr. Freeze, and The Court of Owls have been thrown around, though money right now is on Hush.
Not only has Matt Reeves credited the Hush comic as being an inspiration for his superhero movie, but there’s also a major Easter egg alluding to the potential future villain. When The Riddler reveals that Thomas Wayne had a journalist killed to protect his legacy, it’s shown that the journalist’s last name was Elliot — the same as Hush’s true name: Thomas Elliot.
Whether Hush is there or not, we’ll happily see more of Keoghan as Batman’s true nemesis. Yes, Joker has been done time and time again but, really, can you blame them? He’s the best baddie in all of Gotham City.
For more, take a look at our guide on how to watch the DC movies in order, and check out our breakdown of all the other DC characters you need to know. We’ve also got a guide to The Brave and the Bold, and everything you need to know about the Gods and Monsters slate.