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While they may not be considered the very best of the bunch, Tim Burton’s Batman films have been enjoying a resurgence in pop culture relevancy lately. Michael Keaton is reprising his role as Bruce Wayne in the upcoming Flash movie, which has brought back a wave of nostalgia for fans. And DC Comics’ Batman 89 series has revitalized interest in Burton’s Batman universe by continuing where Batman Returns left off in 1992. Now, Danny DeVito himself is jumping in to commemorate his iconic turn as the Penguin in a way that few fans would have ever expected.
Danny DeVito brought a ruthless quality to his portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. Penguin. While some other Batman baddies are sexier, flashier and have played a more central role in the film adaptations, some could argue that DeVito’s performance was so iconic, it helped reshape how fans thought about Penguin. Which is a pretty impressive legacy on its own.
While Danny DeVito’s performance as Penguin was a one-off, it looks like he hasn’t completely written the character off for good. According to GamesRadar, the actor’s next project is, surprisingly, a comic book story focused on the Penguin. He will co-write a one-shot that’s set to be part of the Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1 anthology, and is being released. to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Penguin’s comic book debut.
DC fans can re-watch Batman Returns on HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up (opens in new tab) for the streaming service.
Illustrator Dan Mora shared his excitement about working with DeVito and DC Comics editor Paul Kaminski. The artwork he teased along with the announcement is enough to get any devout Batman fan excited for the release:
Given the renewed interest in Tim Burton’s Batman films lately, fans probably would have expected DeVito to reprise his role as the Penguin in some way before he took on this kind of role. But the actor has a long history working in a variety of creative roles. In addition to acting, he’s also been a director and a producer -- so his decision to take on a writing role isn’t a big stretch, even if it is in a new medium.
Danny DeVito’s Penguin comic story, and the coinciding anniversary, could end up signaling a resurgence in interest in the character, who hasn’t been seen on screen since Robin Lord Taylor’s turn in Gotham. In 2022, Matt Reeves’ The Batman will introduce fans to Colin Farrell’s Penguin, who has already piqued fans’ curiosity thanks to him being nearly unrecognizable in the film’s first footage. DeVito himself has expressed support for the actor and made it clear he’s excited to see what he’ll bring to the role.
Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1 will be released in November 2021. The Batman hits theaters on March 4, 2022.
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