Earlier this week, Empire Magazine released a massive feature that dove deep into Matt Reeves’ The Batman, the Robert Pattinson-starring reboot that’s inarguably one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2022.
While the piece, naturally, didn’t delve into many plot details, it did shed some light on the characters that populate Reeves’ upcoming interpretation of Gotham City, such as Pattison’s Dark Knight and Colin Farrell’s (potentially scene-stealing) Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a Penguin.
According to the piece, Farrell’s version of Penguin takes inspiration from various characters across the history of gangster movies and TV shows, such as Tony Soprano, Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday, John Cazale in The Godfather, and even the infamous Fredo Corleone.
“There’s a touch of John Cazale as Fredo in The Godfather. He’s a mid-level mobster guy and he’s got a bit of showmanship to him, but you can see that he wants more and that he’s been underestimated. He’s ready to make his move.”
Farrell also detailed how Fredo, one of the most reviled characters in the history of cinema, helped inform his character choices:
“[Matt Reeves] mentioned Fredo to me, because Fredo’s crippled by the insignificance that he lives within, in a family that is full of very strong, very bright, very capable, very violent men. Which is why he commits the act of betrayal that he does, because he’s weak, he’s kind of broken, and he’s in pain,” Farrell told Empire Magazine.
“There is a kind of fracture at the core of Oz, which fuels his desire and his ambition to rise within this criminal cabal. Where that rise goes … I would love to get to explore that in the second film, if that was ever to happen.”
The description of Farrell’s Penguin came just days after it was reported that director Matt Reeves found inspiration for Robert Pattinson’s Batman in late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
“When I write, I listen to music, and as I was writing the first act, I put on Nirvana’s ‘Something In The Way’,” Reeves said. “That’s when it came to me that, rather than make Bruce Wayne the playboy version we’ve seen before, there’s another version who had gone through a great tragedy and become a recluse. So I started making this connection to Gus Van Sant’s Last Days, and the idea of this fictionalized version of Kurt Cobain being in this kind of decaying manor.”
Reeves and his cast are certainly taking some big swings, and personally, I think it’s all going to pay off. Against all odds, Reeves was able to not only revive, but make largely excellent Planet of the Apes films, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t be able to do the same with an icon as legendary as Batman.
The Batman — which stars Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin, Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/Riddler, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Jeffrey Wright as Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and Peter Sarsgaard as Gotham District Attorney Gil Colson — is currently scheduled to hit theaters in the United States on March 4, 2022.