The new versions of the Riddler and Joker that The Batman introduced have tended to grab most of the attention, but let’s not overlook Colin Farrell’s Penguin. Matt Reeves’ movie was remarkably the first time Oswald Cobblepot had been in a live-action movie since 1992’s Batman Returns, in which the bird-like mob boss was memorably played by Danny DeVito. But what does the last cinematic Penguin think of his belated successor?
The Always Sunny in Philadelphia star opened up about his thoughts on Farrell’s Oz while speaking to The Wrap. DeVito praised the Irish actor, who he says is a “good buddy” of his, for his performance — and for being able to endure so long in the make-up chair every morning, something he knows a lot about.
“Yes, I did. I thought Colin did a great job,” DeVito said, when asked if he had seen The Batman. “Certainly a different milieu. I think it was a more edgy, serious, gangster-y Batman. Of course there’s three Italians who are bad guys in it, the Falcones. But I feel like in terms of the performances, I thought Colin – who is a good buddy of mine – I think he did a great job in that. You take your hat off to anybody who sits in the makeup chair that long. I did it with The Penguin and loved it.”
While he couldn’t be more positive about Farrell, DeVito went on to admit that he remains loyal to Tim Burton’s vision for the Batman mythos, preferring the “whimsical” and “operatic” tone of Returns over Reeves’ much more grounded iteration. That’s hardly surprising given that DeVito’s gone to on work with Burton three more times since playing the Penguin. The most recent of those was 2019’s Dumbo remake, in which he happened to share the screen with Colin Farrell.
This isn’t the first time DeVito has shared the love for his fellow fowl-like fiend as he previously threw his support behind Farrell back when the latter was first cast back in 2019. Luckily for DeVito, and other Farrell fans out there, a spinoff for his Penguin is on its way to HBO Max, with the show set to reveal Oz’s origins story. Given the duo’s IRL friendship, it would be a lot of fun if DeVito turned up in the series somewhere. Presumably in another role, although we wouldn’t say no to a multiversal Penguin crossover.
Relive Farrell’s performance when The Batman hits streaming on April 18.