Though the Batman series is well-known for its titular caped crusader, butler Alfred and sidekick Robin, it is arguably better-known for its iconic villains, with the likes of Joker, the Penguin, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy arguably carrying more commercial potential. Both Penguin and Catwoman are due to appear in Matt Reeves’ latest instalment in the Batman cinematic universe, though as recent reports make clear, one of these iconic villains won’t be represented as we know them best.
Short and stocky with dark features and a pointed nose, the Penguin, played in the new film by a heavily made-up Colin Farrell, is also well known for constantly smoking a cigarette lodged in a slender black holder. Due to strict rules about smoking in superhero movies, however, the character was forced to drop any form of cigarette or cigar to make the character more suitable for younger audiences.
“I fought valiantly for a cigar, I even said at one stage, ‘Can I have it unlit,’ and they were like no,” Farrell told YouTube channel Jakes Takes. Describing his character’s position in the brand new film, Farrell added: “The Oz that we meet hasn’t embodied the energy of the Penguin that we recognise from the source comics…he’s just a soldier of Falcone at this stage”. Keen to one day play the full fleshed-out Penguin, the actor explains that he’d “love to explore” the character further in the future.
Finally released to audiences worldwide on March 4th, 2022, the latest Batman tale looks to be a bleak take on the character, going even darker than Christopher Nolan’s iconic trilogy starring Christian Bale. Reeves’ new vision features the likes of Robert Pattinson, Paul Dano, John Turturro, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis and Zoë Kravitz, with the director and Warner Bros hoping to recapture the glory of Nolan’s trilogy.