Colin Farrell reveals the makeup transformation required to become The Batman’s Penguin took four hours. Writer/director Matt Reeves’ reboot will see Robert Pattinson the Caped Crusader early on in his vigilante career in Gotham City. Inspired by comics like Batman: Year One and The Long Halloween, Reeves’ The Batman will also introduce a handful of iconic villains from its rogues gallery, including Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman, Paul Dano’s Riddler, John Turturro’s Carmine Falcone, and Farrell’s Oswald ‘Oz’ Cobblepot, aka Penguin.
As Bruce Wayne investigates a string of gruesome murders, the Zodiac Killer-inspired Riddler will serve as the film’s main villain. Dano’s Riddler has remained largely hidden throughout The Batman’s promotional campaign and Farrell’s unrecognizable, make-up-caked turn as the bloated Penguin has attracted a lot of attention. Despite being teased as a minor supporting character, fans can’t wait to see his gritter, more comics-accurate take on the crooked-nose gangster from DC Comics.
During a recent interview with Variety, Farrell briefly discussed the process of achieving Penguin’s look for The Batman. According to the actor, applying the character’s combover, make-up, and prosthetics took “four hours” before they eventually “got it down to two.” Farrell went on to talk about his motivation for taking a supporting role in the film being Reeves himself, calling The Batman director “a wonderful filmmaker, so I was just grateful to be allowed anywhere near it.” The actor went on to tease the film as “a very unique take on a story that’s often been told,” further hyping Reeves’ new look at a hero who has been re-visited by countless filmmakers.
Farrell was reportedly so unrecognizable that those on The Batman set didn’t even realize it was him. However, while much of the hype surrounding his performance relates to his look, the character will not be defined by his gimmick, and gone is the birdman from previous depictions like Danny DeVito’s iteration in Batman Returns. Farrell’s more grounded version, existing in a grittier Gotham, takes emotional inspiration from The Godfather franchise’s Fredo Corleone. The Batman will set up its Penguin as a mocked member of his respective crime family and a sort of foil to Bruce Wayne.
Farrell won’t have a big role in The Batman, but Warner Bros. and DC Films clearly wants his Penguin for future projects. Otherwise, it wouldn’t necessarily make sense to apply hours worth of makeup to such a big name for a role that could’ve simply been played by someone who is overweight and balding. That said, two HBO Max spinoffs are in development focusing on the Gotham Police Department and the Penguin’s origins — the latter of which is being executive produced by Reeves and written by Lauren LeFranc (Agents of SHIELD and Impluse) attached to write its scripts. While Farrell isn’t yet confirmed to be involved with the series, The Batman is poised to set it up when it releases in theaters this March, where audiences will finally see the results of Farrell’s arduous days in the makeup chair.
More: The Batman’s New Penguin Inspiration Mirrors Burton’s Genius Villain Trick
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- Blue Beetle (2023)Release date: Aug 18, 2023
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