Both Colin Farrell and Matt Reeves have explained that Oswald Cobblepot isn’t necessarily the Penguin we know and love in The Batman just yet, but his arc will eventually culminate in him cementing his reputation as one of the Gotham City underworld’s most feared figures.
We can safely assume that we’ll be seeing plenty of Farrell’s handsome visage buried under a mountain of prosthetics for years to come after the character was announced for an HBO Max spinoff series, and while he may end up twirling an umbrella in The Batman, we won’t be seeing Penguin’s signature cigarette holder after Warner Bros. stepped in to shut it down, as the actor revealed to Jake’s Takes.
“I fought valiantly for a cigar, I even said at one stage ‘can I have it unlit?’ and they were like no. The Oz that we meet hasn’t embodied the energy of the Penguin that we recognize from the source comics and from previous films, so I’ll see if it goes again. I’d love to explore it because he’s not an underboss, he’s not a boss, he’s just a soldier of Falcone at this stage. But he has great ambition and dreams of doing big big things. HBO will give me the green light for that one…”
Big budget blockbusters designed with finding the biggest possible audience have been actively avoiding any depictions of smoking for the last decade, but you can bet there’s going to be a vocal minority left disappointed that The Batman isn’t going to feature one of the iconic antagonist’s most recognizable pieces of paraphernalia.
Like Farrell says, though, he’s got a much better chance of puffing away to his heart’s content on HBO Max, especially when James Gunn’s Peacemaker showed that Warner Bros. and DC Films are willing to let the key creatives get away with some truly insane things on the small screen.