Barry Keoghan, star of Dunkirk and The Eternals, has shared a new photo from behind the scenes of The Batman, Matt Reeves’ upcoming reboot of the Batman franchise, in which the actor is playing a Gotham City cop. This is the first fans have seen Keoghan on the set, although his casting was revealed by an official synopsis of the film released at DC FanDome, where the trailer came with the synopsis attached to its YouTube link. Fans have wondered since what role GCPD officer Stanley Merkel will play in the film.
Originally created by Frank Miller in The Dark Knight Returns, Merkel later joined DC’s official canon as a partner to James Gordon before the latter became commissioner of the GCPD. He was the rare honest cop in Gotham and, in Batman: Dark Victory, he became one of The Hangman’s victims.
You can see Keoghan’s tweet and photo below.
— Barry Keoghan (@BarryKeoghan) April 21, 2021
Merkel’s involvement with Dark Victory is particularly notable since it has long been rumored that elements of Batman: The Long Halloween would influence The Batman. Dark Victory serves as the sequel to The Long Halloween in the comics, with both being written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Tim Sale. In that story, a serial killer known as The Hangman targets a number of Gotham City cops.
Given that HBO Max is set to launch a spinoff from the film that centers on the Gotham City Police Department, it seems possible that Keoghan could play a role there, and/or that the TV series might be setting up a sequel that includes elements of Dark Victory. When the movie first started production, reports circulated that Matt Reeves had developed the movie as a stand-alone but with the possibility of a trilogy in the back of his head. Whether that could be The Long Halloween and Dark Victory is a question some fans have likely been asking themselves — along with the question of whether such a “trilogy” would be three feature films, or if the TV series changes that math.
Keoghan is set to play Druid Marvel’s upcoming film The Eternals. He previously appeared in Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and Chernobyl. At one point he was set to star in FX on Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of Y: The Last Man, but stepped down from the role before it began filming.