The actor who plays Penguin in The Batman movie is unrecognizable in the role, and the film has gone to great lengths to hide his identity. The Batman is the first installment in Matt Reeves’ new trilogy, which will expand on the small screen with spinoff shows for Penguin and Gotham PD, presumably in the time following the events of the film. That means more crime and villainy are on the way, much to the chagrin of Batman.

Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin is one of Batman’s oldest and most famous villains, often appearing in the comics and other mediums, though not much in live-action. Despite overseeing a cornerstone of Gotham’s criminal underworld, most Batman stories have focused on other villains given Penguin’s cartoony nature. So far, only two people have portrayed Penguin in live-action movies — the first being Burgess Meredith in 1966 in Batman: The Movie and Danny DeVito in Batman in 1989. Burgess appeared a few times as Penguin in the 1966 TV series as well, but after him, only Robin Lord Taylor has played Penguin in a live-action show, in Gotham. But thanks to The Batman, there’s now a new incarnation on-screen.


Colin Farrell plays Penguin in The Batman movie — despite looking nothing like the character that appears in the film. Farrell wears extensive makeup and prosthetics in The Batman in order to transform into The Penguin, including wearing a fatsuit to increase his size. The actor said the entire process took approximately four hours at the beginning but was eventually brought down to just two hours. And thankfully so, because now he’s coming back as Penguin in his own spinoff series, and choosing to change his look into Penguin’s every day on set would be grueling if he didn’t love what he was doing.

Farrell may be unrecognizable as The Penguin, but his name and (real) face are both known worldwide. He got his big break with the 2001 film American Outlaws and followed up that success by starring alongside Hollywood’s top actors in a string of notable movies in the early 2000s, such as Phone Booth with Kiefer Sutherland, SWAT with Samuel L. Jackson, The Recruit with Al Pacino, and Daredevil with Ben Affleck. Farrell began taking less action-y and more obscure films from then on, appearing in In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, Winter’s Tale, and even The Lobster, one of the wackiest movies out there. Of course, he hasn’t strayed from blockbusters entirely, having appeared in 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Even though Farrell will return as The Penguin in an upcoming TV show on HBO Max and will presumably be back in The Batman 2, should the sequel happen, there’s no telling how long he will portray the supervillain. Still, he was undoubtedly one of the best parts of The Batman and there’s excitement surrounding his future in DC’s universe.

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