The Batman introduces a new set of classic Batman characters, like Zoë Kravitz as the new Catwoman, Barry Keoghan as the new Joker, Andy Serkis as the new Alfred, and of course, Robert Pattinson as the new Bruce Wayne. Alongside the already ensembled cast, Colin Farrell also stars as the new Penguin, after Danny DeVito last portrayed the character in Tim Burton's 1992 Batman sequel, Batman Returns.
The Batman offers a glimpse of a younger Oswald Cobblepot, who's going to rule Gotham City's criminal elite in the future Batman spin-off. Though Farell's portrayal of the Penguin was met with praises, The Penguin was last seen in a live-action Batman film in Batman Returns, played by critically-acclaimed actor Danny DeVito. Tim Burton and Matt Reeves' interpretation of the classic Batman villain is vastly different. Matt Reeves' Penguin didn't focus much on the character's backstory, while in Burton's Batman Returns, DeVito's Penguin is a violent, animalistic villain raised by penguins in Gotham Sewers. Aside from that, DeVito's Penguin also looks more terrifying, compared to Farrell's.
Speaking to The Wrap, Danny DeVito talked about his upcoming appearance in HBO Max's The Survivor, and also took his time to talk about his thoughts on Matt Reeves' latest reboot of the Batman franchise. Particularly for Farrell's Penguin, DeVito shared that he enjoyed The Batman's more grounded and serious approach, however, DeVito also stated that he preferred Burton's fantastical take over Reeves' grounded approach. See DeVito's full quote below:
“Yes, I did, I thought Colin did a great job. Certainly a different milieu. I think it was a more edgy, serious, gangster-y Batman. Of course there’s three Italians who are bad guys in it, the Falcones (laughs). But I feel like in terms of the performances, I thought Colin – who is a good buddy of mine – I think he did a great job in that. You take your hat off to anybody who sits in the makeup chair that long. I did it with The Penguin and loved it.”
“My feeling of comparing the two movies, I’m like a Tim Burton fan. I like the whimsical, the operatic, the disaffected Pee-wee Herman throws me off a bridge (laughs). That makes me smile. So it’s a different situation, but I did watch the movie.”
DeVito's praises for Colin Farrell must be overwhelming for the new Penguin actor. Throughout the years, DeVito's portrayal of the Penguin remains the most fan-favorite interpretation of the DC comics villain character. Although DeVito seemingly set a gold standard for the villainous character, there's still much more to anticipate with Farrell's Penguin.
Colin Farrell is set for more appearances as the Penguin in Matt Reeves' Batverse after Warner Bros. confirmed that a Penguin spin-off is officially coming to HBO Max. Although we didn't get much action for Farrell's Penguin in The Batman, the spin-off must center on the villain's backstory, and how he standout as Gotham City's new criminal mastermind.
The Batman is coming to HBO Max on April 18th.