The Batman Movie Is Reportedly Looking At Using A Classic Villain

Penguin comics

Despite the continuing uncertainty over whether or not Ben Affleck will reprise Batman following his turns as the Caped Crusader in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Justice League, Matt Reeves' Batman movie is still being developed over at DC and Warner Bros. Back when Ben Affleck was co-writing the project with DC president Geoff Johns, the plan was for Batman to battle Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, who cameoed at the end of Justice League. But when Reeves came aboard, he started over from scratch, and now word has come in that in his version of The Batman, the costumed Bruce Wayne could face off against one of his classic enemies, Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin.

Variety reporter Justin Kroll revealed on Twitter that The Penguin is being considered as the new candidate for The Batman's main villain. Given that Matt Reeves is still working on the script, as well as how things are constantly changing with the DC Extended Universe, it's possible that this could change down the line, but that also doesn't necessarily mean we couldn't see Penguin in this franchise. Kroll has also heard that there is a Birds of Prey script that has Penguin as its primary antagonist, so it sounds like the DCEU brass is keen on bringing in the umbrella-obsessed adversary, whether he tangles with Batman or someone else.

If Penguin does appear in The Batman or another DCEU movie, this would be his third time depicted in a live action film. Burgess Meredith reprised the character for the 1966 Batman movie that was based on the popular TV series, and Danny Devito played Oswald Cobblepot in 1992's Batman Returns. Penguin is also currently portrayed by Robin Lord Taylor in the Fox series Gotham, which chronicles the characters rises and falls from power. Even though we haven't seen Penguin in the DCEU yet, he was referenced in Justice League when Alfred Pennyworth told Bruce Wayne that he missed the days when one's biggest concern was exploding wind-up penguins, so clearly Batman and Penguin already have some history in this continuity.

The Penguin is one of Batman's oldest foes from the comics (debuting 1941's Detective Comics #58), and since it's been over 25 years since the character, now would be a good time to see a fresh and new spin on him. Plus, Matt Reeves said last year that he's aiming to make a "noir-driven" Batman movie, and looking over the hero's rogues gallery, Penguin would be a good fit for such a story, because in the modern era, he treads the line between colorful criminal and mob boss. As for who could play the DCEU's Penguin, since Josh Gad has teased the possibility of playing the villain over the last year, DC and Warner Bros could always look to him as a start.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for any updates concerning The Batman and the rest of the DCEU. If you're interested in learning what other projects this franchise has in development, head to our DC movies guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.