Watch Barry Keoghan's Audition Tape For The Batman... But Not To Play The Joker

Barry Keoghan as The Joker in The Batman deleted scene
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Matt Reeves The Batman went through a lot of casting shifts when making the critically acclaimed film. Clearly it was a long audition process for many, with many actors like Jonah Hill approached for different roles in a dark new take on the Caped Crusader. Eventually the perfect cast was assembled, with many acclaimed actors giving outstanding performances in this more recent entry of the DC movies lineup. One of those actors was Barry Keoghan, who blew fans away with one sequence (plus one deleted scene) where he played The Joker. But it was recently revealed that The Joker wasn’t the character Keoghan originally auditioned for. 

This week British GQ acquired and released Keoghan’s audition tape for The Batman on Twitter. The Killing of a Sacred Deer actor appears to be slinking through hallways, ever so creepily, in a bowler hat, cane and suspenders. The performance is something akin to A Clockwork Orange, as Keoghan appears to be channeling Malcolm McDowell in a very unique performance as The Riddler. Check out the video below:

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While this is certainly an interesting take on the iconic character, it’s clear Reeves wanted to go in a different direction with The Riddler. In The Batman, the character is reimagined as a chronically online agent of chaos, who wants to watch the world burn through a series of puzzles and clues. Keoghan’s performance is creepy and silent, letting his body language channel the character. Paul Dano, who was selected for the role, is much more jittery and vocal, with his strange performance of “Ave Maria” one of the most memorable scenes from the film. This version of the character was inspired by the Zodiac Killer, and Dano’s previous performances were seemingly closer to what the director wanted for the role.

However, the casting director and Reeves were clearly impressed by Keoghan’s audition tape. The Dunkirk star was tapped to play the iconic role of The Joker. While the role was somewhat of a cameo in The Batman, the end of the film offered room for Keoghan to make a return as the character in potential sequels. Even just from the little piece we have seen from the actor, fans can already tell he may be one of the best actors to ever play the iconic character. He has a lot to live up to, as the role has already won two different actors an Oscar. But he clearly understands the idiosyncrasies of the character. I can’t wait to see more from him.

The Batman 2 is officially happening, and last month saw a writing team confirmed, so it may not be long before fans get to see Barry Keoghan return to the famous character. While the storyline for the film is yet to be revealed, Paul Dano has teased he is interested in returning to his character. Maybe we can count on another incredible interaction between The Joker and The Riddler as Arkham Asylum inmates. Fans are already theorizing what Keoghan could look like in the much anticipated sequel, so the actor clearly has audience support. 

I personally will be waiting for The Batman 2, as Matt Reeves clearly has a lot to work with. Ahead of the film’s eventual release, you can check out Barry Keoghans’ Joker performance in The Batman, currently streaming for HBO Max subscribers. For more films set for release in the near future, check out our 2023 movie release schedule. 

Caroline Young

Writer, podcaster, CinemaBlend contributor, film and television nerd, enthusiastic person. Hoping to bring undying passion for storytelling to CinemaBlend.