Who plays Joker in The Batman? Barry Keoghans surprise DC cameo, explained

Major spoilers for The Batman follow. If you haven’t seen it, turn away now!

The Batman may have kept its card close to its chest – but, of course, there was always going to be a Joker in the pack.

Late on in the movie, Riddler (now locked up in Arkham State Prison) engages in conversation with an unnamed prisoner in the next cell.

The prisoner asks Riddler: “The less of them you have, the more one is worth.” The answer, of course, is a friend. The two end the scene laughing together as a familiar-looking grin flashes across the prisoner’s face…

Who plays Joker in The Batman?

Barry Keoghan in Eternals

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Yes, that’s the Joker in The Batman. He’s played by Irish actor Barry Keoghan, though he’s only listed as ‘Unseen Arkham Prisoner’ in the credits.

Keoghan first rose to fame in his native Ireland by playing a character called Wayne – of all things – in series Love/Hate.

From there, his star grew. 2017 was a breakout year for Keoghan, appearing in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and The Killing of a Sacred Deer alongside fellow Batman alumn Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman (who appeared in Batman Forever). He’s also now part of the MCU, having played Druig in Eternals.

Keoghan’s appearance as the Joker was reportedly a pretty late decision. The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) suggested that two cuts of the movie were screened in the lead-up to release, one with a “certain actor” (believed to be Keoghan), one without.

Despite that, the Joker’s future in The Batman franchise is unclear as of writing. The most likely destination would be The Batman 2 or a future sequel. It could even be the first step on the road to adapting comic book storyline The War of Jokes and Riddles. There, Joker and Riddler wage war in Gotham over who should be the one to kill the Batman. But we’ll have to wait and see who has the last laugh when (and if) Paul Dano and Barry Keoghan’s villains appear again.

For more on The Batman, check out our guides to:

Barry Keoghan isn’t eligible (yet), but find out who reached the top of our Joker rankings.

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