There is less left to return to the dark streets of Gotham in ‘The Batman’, the new film installment of the Bat Man, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson in the skin of Bruce Wayne. Although this time the main villain is Riddler (played by Paul Dano), the film includes at least one other iconic Batman archenemy, The Penguin, played by Colin Farrell.
In line with the rest of the film, Farrell’s version is quite different from what we’ve seen so far. The actor looks virtually unrecognizable under layers of makeup and prosthetics, but his looks aren’t the only thing that sets him apart from the character in the comics or other on-screen versions (such as Danny DeVito’s), it’s also not in this movie either. We will see him smoking cigars, one of his hallmarks in the vignettes. This is due to the ban by Warner Bros., which does not allow smoking in its PG-13 rated movies, as is the case. The same rule that, by the way, Disney maintains and for which Emma Stone’s Cruella did not smoke in her film either.
Well, Farrell has revealed in an interview that, despite Warner Bros. rules, he insisted that Oswald Cobblepot smoke in the film, but to no avail. The actor tells it without mincing words: “The big studios make big decisions about things like the presence of tobacco in movies. I fought bravely for a cigar. There came a time when I said ‘I can take it without lighting it! take it like this.’ And they told me no. As if a lot of 12-year-olds are going to start smoking Cuban cigars because of that.”
Although Warner’s rules for its PG-13 releases prevent showing characters smoking, Reeves says that this rating has not been an obstacle to taking what is usually shown in films with that age limitation one step further: “I knew that We could push the limits of what you can do in a PG-13 movie and still do everything I wanted to do with it.”
His spin-off will be like ‘Scarface’
Despite being a very important character in the mythology of the Dark Knight, the truth is that the appearance of The Penguin in ‘The Batman’ is very brief, with just 9 minutes of footage in total. However, this is because the character’s story will be further developed in a spin-off series for HBO Max.
The series will chronicle Oz Cobblepot’s rise to power within the criminal underworld of Gotham. In addition to starring in it, Farrell participates as a producer alongside Dylan Clark, who in a recent interview with SFX Magazine compared the spin-off to ‘The Price of Power’: “It’s almost like the story of Scarface. It’s exciting to do something like that, so standalone, but at the same time says a lot about the character and the movie, so that when you go back to her you connect the pieces of her story.”
On the other hand, Farrell has revealed that his version of The Penguin is inspired by another famous mobster movie classic, Fredo, John Cazale’s character in ‘The Godfather’ and ‘The Godfather: Part II’. We only hope that, premiering on HBO Max, where there are fewer restrictions and censorship, this time they will let you smoke.