The Batman Has Two Cuts - One With And One Without A Mysterious Character Cameo

Last month, Eric Keoghan, brother of character actor Barry Keoghan, posted on social media that his brother would be playing the Joker in Matt Reeves' upcoming "The Batman." The post was deleted, but the internet sees all, and rumors have been swirling ever since. Keoghan is in the movie in some capacity, but up until now, the word on the street has been that he's playing Stanley Merkel, the partner to Gotham City cop Jim Gordon (played by Jeffery Wright). 

Now, THR has revealed that Warner Bros. is currently testing two different cuts of "The Batman" – one with an unnamed actor, one without. So just what the heck is going on here? Is Keoghan the unnamed actor in one of the cuts of the film? And is he playing the Joker, or Merkel? I'm afraid we don't have any definitive answers for you, but let's speculate wildly, shall we?  

A Certain Actor

In the "Batman" comics, when Jim Gordon first joins the Gotham Police Force he's partnered with a cop named Stanley Merkel. And it's been reported by several sources that Merkel appears in the upcoming "The Batman," and that he's being played by Barry Keoghan, an actor known for films like "Dunkirk," "The Green Knight," and "Eternals." However, things took an odd turn last month when Keoghan's brother Eric Keoghan claimed on social media that Keoghan was actually playing the Joker in Reeves' film. That post was deleted, and we're still not entirely sure what to make of it. There's a good chance that it was all a joke that got out of hand and spread like wildfire, as rumors seem to do when they involve films like this. But now we have a new detail; more fuel to add to the fire, as it were. The Hollywood Reporter included this tidbit in their recent newsletter

Last month, the internet went a little crazy about Barry Keoghan maybe, maybe not, playing the Joker in Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman. Don't look to us to answers on that one. But we can tell you this: Multiple sources tell us that Warner Bros. has been testing two different cuts of The Batman, one with a certain actor, one without. And the final test screening occurred last week, with the decision now made as to which version the studio likes, says one source.

So just what the hell is going on here? The THR report is very vague. We don't even know if the "certain actor" in question is Keoghan, although the fact that THR name-dropped him certainly suggests it might be. That could mean several things. If the actor in question is indeed Keoghan, it seems likely his part in the movie is very small. If he can be completely removed from the film for an alternate cut, he likely doesn't have that many scenes. But then that raises more questions: is he really playing the Joker after all? And does that mean we may or may not be getting a Joker cameo in the film? Or are the earlier reports about Keoghan playing Stanley Merkel accurate? And does that imply Merkel will end up on the cutting room floor? Again, I have no real answers here. But it sure seems like something is up with "The Batman."