The Batman is just a few days away from hitting the big screen, and fans of the Dark Knight are excited to see the newest rendition of the World’s Greatest Detective battle a number of his classic DC Comics villains. Robert Pattinson’s version of Bruce Wayne is taking on The Riddler and Penguin, both of whom have been portrayed in films before. But one of the new actors has received a “blessing” from an actor who previously played a version of the character.
Colin Farrell plays a unique version of Penguin in Matt Reeves’ Batman movie. Instead of having a long hooked nose, a cane and a cigar, he simply wears a tuxedo and cackles at the crimes he commits across Gotham.
Farrell recently looked back on the cinematic history of Penguin – otherwise known as Oswald Cobblepot. He said: “I was a teenager, I think, maybe 11 or 12 when the first [Tim] Burton film came out and then an early teen for the second.” (Via Yahoo!)
The Burton Batman movies – Batman and Batman Returns – included Danny DeVito as Penguin. And Farrell revealed that DeVito reached out to the actor when it was announced he was taking on the role of his old Batman villain.
Farrell said of the Always Sunny in Philadelphia star: “[DeVito] was lovely. He sent me a text just saying that he was very excited to hear the news and he was looking forward to seeing what I did and all of that kind of stuff.” He added: “I was very touched by it. He was cool. He gave me the green light [to play the character].”
Of course, there are some key differences between the two portrayals of the villain.
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Farrell recently revealed that he was not allowed to smoke a cigar on The Batman to complete Penguin’s look. He said: “Big studios make big decisions around such things as the presence of cigarettes in films. I fought valiantly for a cigar.” He added: “At one stage I said: ‘I can have it unlit! Just let me have it unlit.’ They were like: ‘No.’ [As if] a bunch of 12-year-olds are going to start smoking Cuban cigars because [the Penguin is smoking cigars in a movie.]” (Via Variety)
Cigar or not, reviews for The Batman were released yesterday and they were mostly positive across the board.
I gave The Batman five stars, calling it “the greatest on-screen Batman portrayal of all time”.
The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin also gave it five stars, heaping particular praise on Pattinson and Catwoman star Zoe Kravitz. He said: “The two stars generate an astonishing sensual charge in a brilliant addition to the Batman canon that refuses to behave like a blockbuster.”
The Batman hits cinemas on Friday.