Batman Returns’ Danny DeVito Reveals His Thoughts On The Batman And Colin Farrell’s Take On Penguin

The Penguin in The Batman
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

For the first time since 1992’s Batman Returns, the Dark Knight has faced off against The Penguin once again in Matt ReevesThe Batman. At the time, Danny DeVito’s version was especially dark, coughing up black saliva and such, but absolutely iconic and untouchable. Thirty years later, Colin Farrell’s version is here and DeVito has shared his thoughts on the new take on The Penguin. 

Danny DeVito caught The Batman with his son in theaters, contributing to the DC film’s massive box office numbers. Here’s what he thought about The Batman’s Penguin: 

I thought Colin did a great job. Certainly a different milieu. I think it was a more edgy, serious, gangster-y Batman. Of course there’s three Italians who are bad guys in it, the Falcones (laughs). But I feel like in terms of the performances, I thought Colin – who is a good buddy of mine – I think he did a great job in that. You take your hat off to anybody who sits in the makeup chair that long. I did it with The Penguin and loved it.

Danny DeVito and Colin Farrell worked together in Disney’s live-action Dumbo ahead of the latter actor being cast as Oswald Cobblepot in The Batman. While the actor wasn’t super happy to see so many Italians being villains in the movie (with his family hailing from the country himself), he was pleased with Farrell’s performance in the film. Farrell was unrecognizable, thanks to Mike Marino’s incredible prosthetics and makeup. 

Danny DeVito as the Penguin in Batman Returns

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Batman Returns actor also spoke to the movie’s tone, which is much darker, leaning into crime drama films like Se7en and The French Connection. When it comes to which he gravitates more to, he’s still biased to his film. As he continued to The Wrap

My feeling of comparing the two movies, I’m like a Tim Burton fan. I like the whimsical, the operatic, the disaffected Pee-wee Herman throws me off a bridge (laughs). That makes me smile. So it’s a different situation, but I did watch the movie.

What’s been interesting about all the Batman movies over the years is how each filmmaker can create such a different world and tone for the character each time. This one had Paul Dano’s disturbed Riddler stumping Batman alongside Penguin’s own criminal activities around Gotham. Jim Carrey, who played a more goofy Riddler in 1995’s Batman Forever said he had “mixed emotions” about The Batman and had yet to see the movie even though he loved Dano as an actor.  

Following the release of The Batman, Colin Farrell will reportedly reprise his role for an HBO Max spinoff series that he will also produce. Through the show, we can expect to see The Penguin’s rise to the top of Gotham’s criminal underworld. As we wait for more from Matt Reeves’ established world from The Batman, you can revisit the 2022 movie with an HBO subscription on April 18. 

At the same time, we can look forward to the Batman to Danny DeVito’s Penguin, Michael Keaton, to reprise his role as the Caped Crusader in The Flash and Batgirl. We’ll keep you updated about everything DC movies related here on CinemaBlend. 

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.