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The Batman: New trailer hints at the return of the Joker

Is The Clown Prince of Crime back once more?

By Charley Ross

Robert Pattinson in 'The Batman', 2022
Robert Pattinson in 'The Batman', 2022.

An international trailer for ‘The Batman’ has dropped, prompting fans to suggest that The Joker may be making an appearance in the upcoming DC film.

In a new clip, fans spotted the presence of a grinning figure in the background of a picture of Bruce Wayne – which has been interpreted as a potential hint at the Joker’s presence.

Others have also pointed to the very end of the clip, when a maniacal laugh sounds very similar to that of Batman’s most famous adversary.

The upcoming film sees Robert Pattinson make his debut turn as Bruce Wayne, as well as Zoe Kravitz in the role of Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), ‘Planet of the Apes’ star Andy Serkis as Alfred, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot (aka The Penguin) and Paul Dano as The Riddler. 

So far, there is no sign of an official casting of The Joker. Joaquin Phoenix played the popular comic book character in Todd Phillips’ 2019 take on the character, winning an Oscar for his performance. While The Riddler has been presented as The Batman’s main nemesis for Reeves’ upcoming movie, it could be that the hero will be fighting a war on two fronts, against The Joker as well.

There has been speculation around the casting of ‘Eternals’ star Barry Keoghan, who has been reported to be playing Officer Stanley Merkel. According to Cinemablend, Keoghan’s brother posted online that the actor was due to play The Joker, and then deleted his comments. Fans have discussed whether Keoghan could appear as either The Joker or Harvey Dent.

Pattinson’s Batman remains something of a mystery – in the last 20 years, both Christian Bale and Ben Affleck have donned the mask, but Pattinson has remained quite tight-lipped about how his take will differ from actors past. 

“I mean, the interesting thing about Batman itself is that you can basically – it’s been played in so many different ways,” he said in an interview with NPR. “I mean, you could literally play anything. So I guess it’s kind of what Matt Reeves is directing and kind of wants to go for.”

Director Matt Reeves’ take on the caped crusader looks to be darker than any rendition we might’ve seen before. Throughout the trailers so far, there’s been a huge focus on “vengeance” – with his character being referred to as “black and blue and dead all over”.

‘The Batman’ is due for release in UK cinemas on 4 March 2022.