Despite Campaigning For Years, Josh Gad Won’t Be The Batman’s Penguin

Josh Gad in Beauty and The Beast

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It's been an exciting week for Matt Reeves' The Batman. After sitting in development hell for a number of years and losing its original star/director, Reeves has finally begun assembling the cast and crew. A few exciting casting announcements arrived this week, with Big Little Lies' Zoe Kravitz playing Catwoman and Paul Dano landing the role of The Riddler. It's still unclear who will be playing The Penguin, but one thing is clear: it won't be Josh Gad.

Beauty and The Beast and Frozen star Josh Gad has become a household name, gaining a ton of followers on his social media accounts. For years, he's been using his platform to campaign for the role of The Penguin in the DCEU, making his interest in the iconic villain known. Gad was recently asked if he might be in talks to play Oswald Cobblepot in The Batman, responding with:

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Well, that seems pretty cut and dry. Despite his interest and previous campaign for the role, it seems Josh Gad definitely won't be rocking an umbrella on Matt Reeves' upcoming DC blockbuster. What a bummer.

Josh Gad's recent tweet seems like an attempt to clarify the talks around his possible role as The Penguin, and hopefully end any rumors about his casting. The Tony-nominated actor was no doubt asked about that possibility plenty this week, as news has come out regarding the casting of The Batman. Matt Reeves is going for some A-List talent, with plenty of big names already attached to populate Gotham City.

For years, we've been seeing Josh Gad drop not-so-subtle hints about his interest in playing a live-action Penguin somewhere within the DC Extended Universe. The villain has been rumored to be a major presence in The Batman, making that blockbuster the most obvious choice. But it seems that it simply wasn't in the cards, with Gad officially ending his campaign to play the iconic Batman rogue.

As far who will play Penguin in The Batman, that remains a mystery. It was recently revealed that talks between the studio and Jonah Hill have fallen through-- although it's unclear which role(s) he was being considered for. Additionally, Seth Rogen was another name tossed around, although no concrete talks happened with the Knocked Up star.

Josh Gad has certainly proven himself as an actor, both on the screen and stage. He'd no doubt bring a specific physicality to Oswald Cobblepot, had the actor The Secret-ed the role into reality. Although he'd have some big shoes to fill, as Penguin has already been brought to life in live-action a number of times throughout the years. But Gad clearly a fan of the comics, and you can access Penguin's life on the page here.

Related: What Josh Gad Could Look Like As The DCEU's Penguin

First came the late Burgess Meredith rendition in the 1960's Batman TV series. Danny DeVito had a particularly strong outing as Penguin in Tim Burton's Batman Returns. And most recently, Robin Lord Taylor played the character for a whopping 100 episodes of Gotham. So whoever gets the part in The Batman will have to find a way to make a wholly unique interpretation of the iconic character.

You can catch Josh Gad in the highly anticipated animated blockbuster Frozen II on November 22nd, and The Batman will (finally) hit theaters on June 25th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.