Skip to main content

The Batman’s Colin Farrell Reveals How His Penguin Is Inspired By The Godfather

Colin Farrell in The Batman
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

While the MCU remains committed to serialized storytelling, Warner Bros. has been producing DC projects set both within and outside of the main DCEU. Matt Reeves’ The Batman is in the latter category, featuring a stellar cast tasked with bringing Gotham City to life. And Colin Farrell recently revealed how his Penguin is inspired by The Godfather.

Robert Pattinson’s title character in The Batman will be relatively new to his crime fighting career, and will interact with a trio of iconic villains. This includes Colin Farrell’s Oswald Cobblepot/ Penguin, with the actor wearing extensive prosthetics for his transformation. And it turns out that his performance was inspired by none other than The Godfather’s Fredo Corleone. As the Widows actor put it,

[Reeves] mentioned Fredo to me, because Fredo’s crippled by the insignificance that he lives within, in a family that is full of very strong, very bright, very capable, very violent men. Which is why he commits the act of betrayal that he does, because he’s weak, he’s kind of broken, and he’s in pain. There is a kind of fracture at the core of Oz, which fuels his desire and his ambition to rise within this criminal cabal. Where that rise goes… I would love to get to explore that in the second film, if that was ever to happen.

Well, there you have it. It looks like Colin Farrell was very inspired by everyone’s least favorite Corleone family member: Fredo. It should be interesting to see how his unrecognizable version of Cobblepot brings these feelings of inferiority to life, and how Penguin is born from that struggle. 

Colin Farrell’s comments come from a recent conversation with Empire ahead of the highly anticipated release of The Batman. Matt Reeves’ movie is just a few months away, so we should expect more footage and interviews from Farrell about his time in Gotham City. And clearly he’s interested in continuing the narrative with a sequel movie.

While Colin Farrell has teased that his role as Penguin isn’t exactly massive, the storytelling possibilities for himself and Matt Reeves seem pretty limitless. The two are set to collaborate on a TV spinoff for HBO Max, while both Farrell and Robert Pattinson have expressed interest in a big screen sequel. But the question is: will Warner Bros. stick with this version of non-DCEU Batman for the long haul?

Luckily for The Batman, it will likely be able to prove itself at the box office. This new take on Gotham City will be available exclusively in theaters, rather than in a simultaneous release on HBO Max. And with a stellar cast and ultra moody footage, smart money says audiences will be flocking to theaters.

The Batman is currently expected to arrive in theaters on March 4th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. 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 famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.