The Batman ending explained: Who’s Riddler’s friend?

PAUL DANO as Edward Nashton/the Riddler in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo: Jonathan Olley/™ & © DC Comics. © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
PAUL DANO as Edward Nashton/the Riddler in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo: Jonathan Olley/™ & © DC Comics. © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Major spoilers ahead of The Batman

The Batman has finally hit theaters! The highly anticipated release of the latest DC movie centered on the caped crusader has had fans wondering which Gotham villains could make a surprise appearance.

The core of the story in this film is focused on The Riddler‘s cat-and-mouse game with a minor focus on Penguin. However, The Batman‘s ending moments bring someone else into the fold. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, we suggest you stop reading here and come back. You won’t want to be spoiled for this moment. But if you choose to read on, know we tried to warn you.

After Riddler is imprisoned, he still thinks he has the upper hand. Bruce wasn’t able to connect all the dots before the bombs along Gotham’s sea wall were detonated. However, much to Riddler’s disappointment, the Bat was able to do what he could to stop Riddler’s game from wreaking too much havoc.

Yes, the city flooded, the newly elected Mayor Bella Reál was shot, and there were likely many citizens of the city who had to be laid to rest, but Gotham came together in all of that chaos. At the center of that newfound sense of camaraderie was Batman. Bruce became a symbol of hope and protection, not simply fear, and that upset Riddler immensely.

But, before the villain could slide into a pit of despair and anguish, the prisoner in the cell next to his gave him a pep talk and offered his figurative hand in friendship. That prisoner was played by Barry Keoghan. Here’s what we know about his role!

Who does Barry Keoghan play in The Batman?

Keoghan is credited as Unseen Arkham Prisoner in the movie. However, some of his dialogue, what we can see of his appearance, and his mannerisms give away who he could be. Keoghan’s character references clowns when he’s speaking to Riddler, he seems to have a disfigured face, and his maniacal laugh made our skin crawl.

If you guessed that he’s Joker, you aren’t alone. While nothing has been confirmed yet, signs are pointing to Keoghan being the latest actor to take up the mantle of the Clown Prince of Crime. Though, it’s possible that his character is being left as Unseen Arkham Prisoner in case this is a misdirect and he’s actually Two-Face or another villain entirely.

There are rumors, however, that the Joker is going to have a big part in HBO Max’s The Batman spin-off series about a Gotham police officer. The show is set in Bruce’s first year as a vigilante, making it a prequel to the movie. Not to mention, the reported working title of the series is Arkham, the very facility that Riddler and this maybe Joker are imprisoned in.

We’ll likely be waiting a bit for the reveal of Keoghan’s character but perhaps not too long. Cleveland reports that there’s a scene between his character and Bruce that was deleted from the film. Matt Reeves’ intends to release the scene sometime after The Batman‘s premiere.

The Gotham PD spin-off wasn’t the only show set-up by the film’s ending. So was the Penguin spin-off that’ll see Colin Farrell reprising his role as the up-and-coming kingpin.

What happened to Penguin in The Batman?

In Reeves’ vision of Gotham, Penguin’s place is that of an underling. However, it’s clear that he won’t stay that way for long. As much as Carmine Falcone sees himself as the king of the city, it’s actually Penguin who has his hand in every pot.

The Iceberg Lounge including its secret club, 44 Below, is his. Those are Penguin’s employees and entourage working the floors and tending to security. He’s the one moving product (the drug called ‘drops’), plying Gotham’s elite with all they could want, and keeping his corner of the city’s underworld in working order.

It should come as no surprise then that when a power vacuum opens upon Carmine’s death and Gotham’s flooding, which will further plunge the city into disparate wealth gaps, that Penguin has full intentions on capitalizing on his opportunity. While this isn’t explicitly stated in the film, it’s made obvious via his last scene which sees him overlooking the city as news coverage details how recovery efforts, unfortunately, won’t reach everyone in need.

Not much is known about Penguin’s spin-off but, given The Batman‘s ending, this point in time in that universe is the perfect place to explore his rise. The Gotham PD series is a prequel. Penguin’s spin-off will be the show that pushes the universe forward in the interim between the film and its planned sequel.

With two spin-offs already in the works and a sequel pending a greenlight, our thoughts must now turn to Selina Kyle, the femme fatale whose story came full circle in The Batman, but who we hope to see again.

What happened to Selina Kyle in The Batman?

Just like Bruce, Selina had an agenda the entire movie. While he wanted to get to the bottom of Riddler’s game, she wanted to find out what happened to her friend and roommate, Annika.

The woman was mixed up in a romantic entanglement with the mayor. He told her about his part in the corruption plaguing Gotham, knowing that information is what got her killed.

Seeking revenge, Selina went after her father, Carmine Falcone. She’d been the result of a union between him and her mother, but the crime boss never claimed her despite knowing she’s his daughter. Before she could avenge her friend, Bruce stopped her after a tussle with Carmine nearly ended in her being strangled by her father the same way he’d strangled her mother.

Bruce had been adamant that she not taint herself by sinking to Carmine’s level. He didn’t want her to have blood on her hands, and Selina listened in the end. The whole ordeal she suffered in The Batman changed life as she knew it, but it also provided her with answers she didn’t have before and an unexpected connection.

Do Selina and Bruce stay together in The Batman?

Despite their connection, however, Selina and Bruce do part ways. Though that’s not entirely surprising. It’s been about a week since the two met and while there’s a definite pull between them, it’s clear that Bruce has a stronger pull toward Gotham. Not to mention while he knows her name, she only knows him as Batman.

Earlier in the movie, the two have an exchange that amounts to an ‘eat the rich’ moment for Selina and she counts Bruce among the wealthy and corrupt who rule the city and deserve what they have coming to them. While Selina’s opinion may change if she got to know Bruce, that’s not a great starting place for the billionare recluse even with her attraction to his alter ego.

Hopefully, Selina’s story is just beginning and she gets her own spin-off. She’s not exactly Catwoman in the movie. We’re in the start of the cat burglar’s origins and when she speeds off on her bike, it’s with the intention of figuring out what could be a huge score.

Selena and Bruce don’t stay together, but he watches her as she goes. Given the two’s history in both the comics and their adaptations, this isn’t the end of them by a long shot. Though this doesn’t mean their relationship will play as significant a role in the sequel.

What is The Batman sequel about?

While a sequel hasn’t been confirmed, despite Reeves’ being in talks for one, there have been rumblings about what the next movie could entail. Some of it has recently been fueled by the stars themselves.

CBR reports that in an interview with Vanity Fair, Pattinson let slip that a storyline involving the Court of Owls could be in the sequel. Of course that could be a smoke screen or where the star wants the story to go even if those may not be Reeves’ plans but it’s an option that fits.

The Court of Owls does, after all, involve Gotham’s wealthiest families. The Batman ends with a wider gap between the haves-and-have nots being forecast and the criminal underbelly of the city primed to grab hold of the areas that’ll be left to fend for themselves.

It’s a city ripe for the Talons to make an appearance as Keoghan’s character has already foretold that a great darkness is set to fall upon Gotham. The first of Reeves’ Batman movies being about corruption while the second focuses on a critique of the rich makes sense for the universe he’s creating.

Next. The Batman has an after credits scene (and here’s its hidden meaning). dark

We’ll keep you posted on more The Batman news and coverage including its spin-off series and potential sequel. Stay tuned to Bam Smack Pow, your go-to FanSided site for all things superheroes and comics!