Colin Farrell is in talks to play Penguin in Matt Reeves' upcoming movie The Batman, which stars Robert Pattinson in the title role. Jonah Hill was previously in talks for a role, believed to be either Penguin or the Riddler, but ultimately passed on the movie. Paul Dano has since been cast as Riddler, with Zoë Kravitz set to play Catwoman.
The news of Farrell being in talks to play Oswald Cobblepot a.k.a. Penguin comes on the heels of Andy Serkis being cast as Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's faithful butler. Jeffrey Wright was also recently confirmed to be playing Commissioner Jim Gordon, Batman's ally among the police. The Batman is expected to begin filming in early 2020 for a summer 2021 release.
Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is currently negotiating with Farrell for the role of Penguin. If the deal closes it will mark the second superhero movie villain role for Farrell, who also played Bullseye in the 2003 Daredevil movie. This will be the third time we've seen Penguin on the big screen, as Danny DeVito played the villain in Batman Returns and Burgess Meredith reprised his role from the TV series in the 1966 Batman movie. A younger version of the character was played by Robin Lord Taylor in FOX's Batman prequel series Gotham.
Farrell is a surprising choice for the role of Penguin, given that he's better known for leading man roles, or for playing more seductive villains like Corporal McBurney in The Beguiled, Percival Graves in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, or vampire-next-door Jerry in the remake of Fright Night. However, he does have a talent for comedy, as evidenced by his broadly humorous character in Horrible Bosses and more dry-witted performances in The Lobster and In Bruges, so his casting makes sense if Reeves wants someone who can deliver intensity and also get a few laughs.
A key figure in Gotham City's organized crime, Penguin is the caricature of a fat-cat businessman, known for wearing a top hat, tuxedo and monocle, and for wielding an umbrella (which usually has a few tricks up its sleeve). He has no superpowers, but does have a love of gadgets, and thanks to his resources and criminal underworld connections can be a formidable opponent for Batman. It will be interesting to see how Farrell realizes the classic comic book villain, assuming he closes the deal to play the role.
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
- DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
- Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022