What Character Does Barry Keoghan Play in 'The Batman'?

The Batman has finally flown into theaters with Robert Pattinson taking on the role of the Caped Crusader.

Matt Reeves' take on the Dark Knight saw him tackle not one, not two, but three villains in the form of Edward Nashton aka The Riddler (Paul Dano), Selina Kyle aka Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), and Oswald Cobblepot aka the Penguin (Colin Farrell).

But a surprise cameo from Barry Keoghan could have even more of an impact on Bruce Wayne's secret life, and it could mean bad things are in store for Gotham.

Read more to discover who Keoghan plays in The Batman.

**Warning: major spoilers for The Batman are ahead**

What Character Does Barry Keoghan Play in 'The Batman'?

Keoghan appears very briefly in The Batman in a scene he shares with Dano's Riddler, who has been incarcerated in Arkham Asylum after Batman and the Gotham Police Department managed to track him down.

The Riddler is rather upset in the scene because his grand plan to flood Gotham and kill newly-elected mayor, Bella Reál (Jayme Lawson), through his avid followers from the dark web has failed.

Crying over the loss, the Riddler is suddenly comforted by a fellow prisoner who is locked up in the cell next to his.

The prisoner, played by Keoghan, tells his companion to not be sad because "everybody loves a comeback" and makes a reference to "clowns" as he tries to reassure the Riddler.

Keoghan's character also uses the moment to give the villain a riddle of his own, saying: "Riddle me this, the less you have, the more valuable they are." To which the Riddler quickly gives the answer "friends."

Realizing that his fellow prisoner wants to be just that for him, the Riddler begins to laugh, and so too does Keoghan's character, maniacally.

Now if the reference to clowns and his incarceration in Arkham Asylum didn't make it obvious yet which iconic Batman villain the Eternals star is playing, his maniacal laugh should have by now.

Keoghan appears to have swapped the heroics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a much more villainous role in the DC Extended Universe. Yes, he seems to be the Joker.

Talking about clowns and his distinctive laugh aside, Keoghan's character also appears to have facial scars and spikey hair reminiscent of the Clown Prince of Crime. Though, viewers are only ever able to see the top half of his face.

In the credits for the film, Keoghan is simply credited as an "unnamed Arkham prisoner," and on The Batman's IMDb page his character is named "Officer Stanley Merkel."

In the DC Comics, Officer Stanley Merkel is James Gordon's (Jeffrey Wright) partner in the Gotham Police Department when he started in the force, thus making fans believe Keoghan would appear in flashback scenes.

However, from the clues given in the scene he can't possibly be playing anyone other than the Joker. These character names are clearly just a way to throw viewers off the scent before they watch the film itself.

The Batman is in theaters now.

The Batman
Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne in "The Batman". Barry Keoghan attends the "Eternals" U.K. premiere at BFI IMAX Waterloo on October 27, 2021 in London, England. Keoghan makes a surprise cameo in the new DC film. Jonathan Olley/Mike Marsland/2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved./WireImage