Although Matt Reeves’ The Batman doesn’t hit screens until June 25th, 2021, a new piece of fan art (seen in the gallery below) shows why Josh Gad could be a great Penguin. An Instagram post from William Gray features Gad with some of Oswald Cobblepot’s familiar costume choices, including a top hat, monocle and umbrella. Gad himself has made a habit of cheekily referencing the character and his potential casting, with posts going back over the last few years.
How much of these rumors are just Gad and artists having fun with the idea of The Penguin are difficult to say, as there’s been no confirmation either way from Warner Bros. about the direction Matt Reeves’ film will go in. It’s a given, though, that we’ll have a new Batman after Ben Affleck stepped down from the role, most likely a younger version of the Dark Knight in a story set in the 1990s. If Reeves does set his story in the past, it would be in keeping with Joker taking place in the 1980s, and might even share that film’s continuity.
Personally, I think The Penguin could be a great addition to a younger, more grounded version of Batman. The villain is one of the most malleable in the DC Universe, with versions including a sideshow grotesque by Danny DeVito in Batman Returns, a master schemer by Robin Lord Taylor in Gotham, as well as a disgraced British heir in Telltale Games’ Batman series.
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However, Gad is not the only actor linked to The Penguin role, with Jack Black also expressing interest. Joaquin Phoenix’s much-anticipated performance in Joker shows that Batman villains are still highly coveted roles for Hollywood actors, while the legacy of performances like Heather Ledger and Jack Nicholson also loom large for the franchise. With filming on The Batman likely to start at the end of 2019, we should know more about casting soon.
Tell us, though, who would be your dream actor for the new reimagining of the Bat? As always, share your thoughts in the comments section below.