Two Different Actors Are Campaigning To Play DC’s Penguin Opposite Jon Hamm

Danny DeVito as Penguin in Batman Returns
(Image credit: (Warner Bros.))

With the DCEU's current state of disarray, considering the Justice League could be one Superman and Batman short, comic book fans and Hollywood alike have started voicing their ideas about who should suit up next. The Matt Reeves' helmed Batman solo project, originally had Ben Affleck set to reprise the role, but rumors have been swirling for months that Warner Bros. could be looking elsewhere for the Caped Crusader. Last week, Mad Men actor Jon Hamm expressed his interest in portraying the iconic superhero, provoking a couple of Penguin hopefuls to volunteer their talents if asked.

Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke is rumored to be the main antagonist to the next Batman film, following his appearance at the end of Justice League. With the upcoming Batman film still heavily under wraps and early in development, we don't even know if Matt Reeves is gunning for Penguin to appear in the film, but it's not a half bad idea. Josh Gad has been hinting at his interest to play Penguin for years, even trolling Matt Reeves on Twitter in the past with a sly Adventure Time gif of penguins cheering when the director debunked rumors that The Batman wasn't happening earlier this year. Now with buzz of Jon Hamm's recent comments, Gad tweeted this out:

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The idea of Jon Hamm and Josh Gad as main characters in a Batman movie is a really interesting one, especially since both of the actors regularly dabble in comedic roles. While it's more likely that the War of the Planet of the Apes writer and director is looking for a dark tone for his Batman film, implementing the comedic chops of actors such as Hamm and Gad could breathe some much-needed personality into the DCEU.

But Josh Gad isn't alone in his aspirations to follow in the footsteps of Danny DeVito and play Oswald Cobblepot in a Batman film. Actor Paul Walter Hauser, recently seen in critically-acclaimed films BlacKkKlansman and I, Tonya, is also campaigning to take on the part too. Hauser took to Instagram to fire back at Gad by giving fans little taste of how he would play the Penguin. Take a look:

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Paul Walter Hauser isn't the household name that Josh Gad is thanks to his roles in Disney films such as Frozen and the live-action Beauty and the Beast, but that doesn't mean he couldn't kill it as Penguin. The actor delivers quite the believable Oswald Cobblepot in the clip, and his passion for the part is certainly present. Hauser also made a brief appearance on the most recent Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season, which Jon Hamm plays a major role in.

Whether there will be a seventh Batman coming up, a new Penguin portrayal or a Batman film at all in the near future is all up in the air at this point. It's refreshing to see these actors show interest in the DCEU and the Batman franchise anyway, and they could be great fits for the roles if Matt Reeves is listening.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.