The incredible first trailer for The Batman appeared to make it very clear who the true villain of the piece is going to be. Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman and Colin Farrell’s Penguin may have major roles to play in the story, but the footage definitely painted Paul Dano’s Riddler as the primary antagonist for Robert Pattinson’s relatively untested Caped Crusader.
Of course, there were rumors making the rounds before cameras started rolling that The Batman could feature up to half a dozen illustrious members of the Dark Knight’s rogues’ gallery, and Matt Reeves has already teased that the movie will be an origin story for all three of the bad guys we know of so far.
The director claimed that Dano’s performance is going to blow people’s minds as well, but according to insider Daniel Richtman, it might blow people’s minds because his Riddler isn’t actually The Batman‘s villain at all. The tipster claims that the mystery character played by Eternals and Dunkirk star Barry Keoghan will be the one who’s revealed as the mastermind behind the plot to assassinate high-ranking Gotham City officials.
Of course, the actor has already been confirmed as Stanley Merkel, who in the comic books is a former partner of Jim Gordon, but changes could have been made to his backstory or it may be a red herring. In any case, here’s what the insider had to share on his Patreon account:
“I hear the Riddler will turn out to be a good guy in the end and Barry Keoghan’s character is the real villain,” says Richtman.
Fan theories have already made the connection that Keoghan might be revealed as the big bad all along as well, but we’ll just have to wait until March 2022 to find out for sure, as The Batman continues shooting after several lengthy delays.