The Batman fan art imagines Penn Badgley playing the Joker. The upcoming film is one of the DC Extended Universe’s most anticipated. It will introduce Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne to the franchise following Ben Affleck’s portrayal. Many assumed The Batman meant Affleck would no longer be able to play his version of the character again. However, though Pattinson is seen as the future of the DCEU, Affleck will reprise his role in The Flash, with the multiverse theoretically allowing both heroes to exist simultaneously.
The Batman will feature several notable DC villains. These include Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Riddler (Paul Dano), and Penguin (Colin Farrell). Considering the many rogues set to play a role, many are wondering if the Joker will show up as well. Though he isn’t set to appear at this time, it seems likely the villain could pop up in sequels. Jared Leto notably played Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad. However, he was absent from Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) and also won’t appear in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad next year. As Leto’s Joker was somewhat controversial, the possibility of recasting the DCEU villain is exciting.
Artist britedit has one idea who should play the role, sharing an image of Badgley as the Joker. The piece works surprisingly well, with Badgley donning the character’s traditional green, red, and purple. Check it out below:
Though Badgley has played heroes before, such as in Easy A, he shines in darker roles. He’s currently playing Joe Goldberg, a manipulative serial killer on Netflix’s You. For this reason, it’s easy to imagine him taking on the equally creepy Joker. However, other names have been thrown around as well. Many are hoping for Knives Out actor Lakeith Stanfield or even for The Batman to do a gender-bent version of the character with someone like Aubrey Plaza. Though Badgley would do a great job, it would be exciting to see a person of color or woman in the role.
Of course, it’s still unknown at this time if sequels to The Batman will feature the Joker at all. The character has been done many times before, with two noteworthy actors (Leto and Joaquin Phoenix) playing the part in the last five years alone. It may be better to let Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin, and of course, Batman have more room to grow. It will also depend on the success of The Batman, which will likely determine when sequels are made and who they include.