Now that Josh Gad is officially out of the running, fans are wondering who will play Penguin in The Batman. Rumors continue to swirl about potential castings, but one particular story makes too much sense to ignore. Reports of Paul Walter Hauser potentially portraying the iconic villain have been gaining steam lately. Now they’ve reached an all-time high, as the 32-year-old actor is one of the contenders that director Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. are currently considering to take on the role.
Hauser has been on the quite the hot streak recently, starring in several Oscar-winning movies as well as plenty of other high-profile projects. He played Shawn Eckhardt in the 2017 film I, Tonya and Ivanhoe in Spike Lee’s 2018 flick BlacKkKlansman, both of which walked away with Academy Awards in their respective seasons.
He’s also popped up in YouTube Premium’s Cobra Kai, Super Troopers 2 and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. As if that’s not enough of an impressive resumé, Hauser’s also just been cast in Disney’s live-action Cruella as the titular villain’s pudgy henchman Horace.
On paper, the actor seems like a perfect fit to be the next Penguin. Reeves is said to be searching for a male talent of any ethnicity between the ages of 20 and 40. Hauser definitely fits the rotund physique that the villain is usually known for, as well as falling right in the middle of the age range that the director is requesting. While he may not be as big of a name as Gad, he certainly has the potential to carry the torch for years to come.
Given the phenomenal work by those portraying Gotham City bad guys over the years, WB executives know that they need to get this casting right. Fans will be expecting a legendary performance by whoever they end up going with and given Hauser’s record for wowing audiences in high-profile movies, he seems like the perfect performer to rise to the challenge.
The Batman will soar into theaters on June 25th, 2021.