It seems that Matt Reeves’ The Batman (2022) can do no wrong. Not only was it praised by fans and critics alike, it grossed over $770 million at the worldwide box office, became the fifth highest-grossing film of 2022, and now has a sequel underway.
However, with Warner Bros. canceling DC movies such as Batgirl (2022), the release of The Batman 2 (TBA) has been impacted. Nevertheless, it’s still going ahead, and there are two live-action TV shows on the way, one of which will focus entirely on Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin.
With that said, there is one actor who takes issue with The Batman, and it’s none other than an iconic Batman movie actor. He may not have portrayed the titular vigilante himself, but he did play an equally iconic villain in one of the three Batman movies of the ’90s.
Hollywood legend Danny DeVito has revealed who he thinks is the better version of Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin between himself and Colin Farrell, who plays a far more grounded version of the character in The Batman and will be reprising his role in the HBO Max series.
During a lie detector test-style interview with Vanity Fair, the 77-year-old actor was asked to give his thoughts on Colin Farrell’s portrayal of a character he played 30 years ago in Batman Returns (1992). DeVito’s response was:
“I love Colin [Farrell]. He’s a terrific guy. My Penguin was better.” He then added, “Was that the truth? It most certainly was. In my opinion.”
Just like DeVito, Farrell underwent extensive prosthetic make-up for his role as the Gotham mobster, and became so unrecognizable that he stunned fans when the first trailer for The Batman was launched, and continued to do so when the film itself hit theaters.
Danny DeVito played Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin in Batman Returns, the sequel to Batman (1989), alongside Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Selena Kyle/Catwoman, respectively.
The two Tim Burton-directed Batman movies were followed by Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever (1995) and Batman and Robin (1997). However, Danny DeVito did not end up reprising his role as the iconic villain, having been killed at the end of Batman Returns.
Since the original four Batman movies (there was also the 1966 movie starring Adam West), there have been five theatrical Batman-focused outings — Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy installments, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and The Batman.
Michael Keaton was set to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batgirl, alongside Leslie Grace’s Barbara Gordon/Batgirl. Now, we’ll just have to wait until The Flash (TBA), which is still going ahead despite the controversy surrounding Ezra Miller, who plays Barry Allen/The Flash.
DeVito hasn’t expressed an interest in reprising his role as The Penguin, although it’s fair to say that with the DC Extended Universe’s Multiverse soon to be opening, anything is possible. While Warner Bros. are canceling projects left and right, we’d still love to see “Batman: No Way Home”!
And while there aren’t any Penguin-focused movies on the horizon, Joker: Folie à Deux (2024), the sequel to Joker (2019), will be hitting theaters on October 4, 2024. The film will be a musical set in Arkham Asylum, so there’s every chance we’ll see another new version of Penguin, at least.
As per the Warner Bros. website, here’s the official synopsis for The Batman:
When a killer targets Gotham’s elite with a series of sadistic machinations, a trail of cryptic clues sends the World’s Greatest Detective on an investigation into the underworld, where he encounters such characters as Selina Kyle/aka Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Oswald Cobblepot/aka the Penguin (Colin Farrell), Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), and Edward Nashton/aka the Riddler (Paul Dano). As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans becomes clear, Batman must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit, and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued Gotham City.
The Batman stars Robert Pattinson (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Zoe Kravitz (Selena Kyle/Catwoman), Andy Serkis (Alfred Pennyworth), Jeffrey Wright (Jim Gordon), Colin Farrell (Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin), and Paul Dano (Edward Nashton/The Riddler).
Which version of The Penguin do you prefer? Let us know in the comments down below!