The Batman director Matt Reeves has revealed that he filmed fake scenes to keep the identity of one actor’s character a secret.
Major productions – particularly comic book movies – using misdirects and trickery to stop spoilers leaking out is nothing new; dummy scripts and keeping actors hidden with cloaks are all commonplace in the world of blockbusters. Reeves, though, went one further – telling IGN (opens in new tab) that he filmed a fake scene for a certain actor.
Spoilers for The Batman follow.
Barry Keoghan was widely believed to be playing GCPD officer Stanley Merkel in The Batman. That wasn’t a wild fan theory either. A round of leaked set photos, as well as official confirmation at DC’s FanDome event (opens in new tab), helped perpetuate the idea that Keoghan was one of Gotham’s boys in blue. But it was all a ruse.
“When you’re making a movie like this, you want it to be different, you want people to feel like they’re having a special experience,” Reeves explained. “So we started thinking what we could do to throw people off that scent. This idea of making [Keoghan] Stanley Merkel was exactly that, because the police force is actually a big part of the story so it seemed credible that we could be doing that.”
If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know Keoghan isn’t present in any police scenes – though he is in prison. Keoghan plays the Joker in a scene involving Paul Dano’s Riddler. Thanks to going above and beyond, it seems Reeves got the last laugh by pulling out all the stops to protect one of The Batman’s biggest secrets.
Seen The Batman? Here are some guides on the DC movie’s mysteries and Easter eggs.
- The Batman ending, explained.
- The Batman Easter eggs and references
- The Batman secret message you missed
- Was Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker meant to be in The Batman?
- When is The Batman on HBO Max?
- The best Batman movies, ranked!
Plus, if you’re down for more DC fun, here’s a rundown on how to watch the DC movies in order.