The Greatest ‘Batman’ Villain Was Recast Because of $10

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Credit: MovieWeb

Matt Reeves is currently in charge of the Batman universe for DC and has done an excellent job with his first film, The Batman. Though he has involved some of the most beloved villains, the greatest villain has been recast in the franchise for $10.

Paul Dano as the Riddler in 'The Batman' (2022)
Credit: DC Studios/Warner Bros.

Related: The Best Scene in ‘The Batman’ Was Filmed 80 Times

Batman is only as important as his Rogues Gallery, which fans have seen plenty of in the movies that have been released through the decades. Though most of the time, those villains include The Joker, The Riddler, Catwoman, Two-Face, and The Penguin, the hope is that Reeves will try something different with his upcoming sequel.

There are so many characters that rightfully deserve some screen time, though their fantastical elements often keep them out of the more grounded Batman stories. Take Mr. Freeze, for instance. Though his backstory is one of the most tragic, he was only showcased in Batman & Robin (1997). This portrayal was far too campy and not what fans hoped for in showcasing the backstory of love and revenge from which the villain was born.

Poison Ivy is another of the fantastical villains showcased in Batman & Robin, but it would likely not work in the grounded neo-noir approach that Reeves is taking. He could try something with her just using poison to kill people, but her ability to control plants might be too “out there” to be considered for a grounded approach.

Though the world is used to seeing The Joker, as he is the antithesis of Batman, Reeves decided to offer up a far different take on The Riddler, which the always intriguing Paul Dano portrayed. Though Dano was fantastic in the role, another Academy Award nominee went up for the part and was recast.

Barry Keoghan Sent in $10 Audition Tape for ‘The Batman’

Per @BarryKeoghan

The audition tape that Barry Keoghan sent back in 2022 was released after the world discovered he was cast as The Joker in The Batman. Keoghan revealed more about the video in a new profile by Esquire and how he had initially gone out for a different role. According to Keoghan:

“I just made it up. I wanted to make it Kubrick-y: symmetrical, the X on the back, the square doorframe, everything square. I just wanted swag to come across. Swag and endearing. It was just me giving my idea. And then I’s like, ‘I’ma send this in!'”

The audition tape that Barry Keoghan sent in only cost him $10 to make and went viral. He wanted to portray something similar to Alex in A Clockwork Orange (1971) so that he could get the role of The Riddler, but that didn’t happen. Reeves instead cast Paul Dano in the coveted role of the main villain for his film, but Keoghan was not left out in the dark. He would be given an even more significant role.

Keoghan added, “I wanted to be Riddler.” Sadly, he was informed that the role was initially given to Jonah Hill (weird, right?) and then went to Paul Dano. Keoghan’s agent did tell him that Reeves offered up another role, and one that is more substantial. Keoghan was called and offered the role of The Joker, which made believers out of us all in the short scene he was showcased in.

Keoghan only had one demand for portraying the Clown Prince of Crime: he would not let the production alter his blue eyes. Keoghan added:

“I wanted some sort of human in there behind the makeup. I want people to relate to him…[to know] this is a façade he puts on.”

Keoghan was only shown at the end of The Batman, and he has yet to be confirmed to return in the upcoming sequel. The WGA strike just concluded and left Matt Reeves unable to complete the script for the sequel, which will be released in October 2025. With two years left until it releases, we hope Keoghan will be called to take on a more substantial role.

During their small interaction, The Joker and The Riddler are neighbors in cells located in Arkham Asylum. Keoghan’s Joker says, “Everyone loves a comeback story,” which fans believe the pair of villains could team up in the sequel.

Robert Pattinson as Batman
Credit: DC Studios

Related: Warner Bros. Is Prioritizing ‘The Batman 2’ to Avoid Lengthy Delay

No one knows what Matt Reeves will do next, but Batman is always better when he has his most vile villain next to him. The Riddler also showcased why he is one of Batman’s greatest foes, as he sunk Gotham with a series of bombs. Should The Riddler and The Joker put their brains and psychotic nature together, Robert Pattinson’s Caped Crusader will have much to deal with.

What do you think of Barry Keoghan being recast from The Riddler to The Joker in The Batman? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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