Although Paul Dano’s Riddler is the primary antagonist in director Matt Reeves’ gorgeous take on the superhero Colin Farrell as the Penguin steals the show. The 45-year-old actor, unrecognizable as the formidable crime figure, makes the most of every second he’s on screen, bringing both laughs and gravitas to the three-hour epic about a serial killer who threatens to upend Gotham’s status quo with shocking revelations about who runs the city.
The latest episode in the Batman film franchise finds everyone in a state of evolution, continuing on the rough road to becoming more familiar versions of themselves. The city has come to rely on Bruce Wayne, played by Robert Pattinson, as the caped crusader and the same can be said about Oz, who is a powerful player in Gotham’s underground – second only to criminal Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) – but has not fully embraced his more-famous guise.
While Farrell credits Reeves for crafting this “stunningly strong and significant” rendition of the Penguin, he pays credit to makeup artist and prosthetics designer Michael Marino for putting him into character. “I cannot claim complete control over this character.” “So much of the work was done for me through Mike’s skill and imagination,” the actor adds, shocked by the nasty role’s direction.
“It was one of the most fun things I’ve had,” recalls Farrell, even though it took nearly four hours the first time he had to put on all his makeup. His co-stars didn’t even recognize him on set after the unexpected final result. Lt. James Gordon, played by Jeffrey Wright, strolled right by Farrell without noticing him. Wright says, “We were thinking, ‘Where’s Colin?'” while Dano recalls being envious. He exclaims, “Oh man, that is good.”
As Turturro puts it, “he fully embraced it,” and “it was fascinating having a dialogue [with him] between acts.” Despite Farrell’s award-worthy performance as Oz and his central role in the film’s most breathtaking action sequences, which culminate with his car being upended after Batman chases him down, the actor admits that he is intimidated by Turturro’s character, who is as ruthless as he is fully aware of the city’s biggest secrets. In contrast to Farrell, Turturro’s performance is subdued.
According to Farrell, what John did as Carmine Falcone “was that stillness,” or an embodiment of the strength that Falcone possesses. When he finally does strike, it’s like a snake. Very few things are as terrifying as a man capable of extreme violence who can remain calm under pressure for an entire minute while everyone else around him prepares to go on the defensive.
Actor Robert Pattinson, the newest in a long line of performers to play Batman on film, has been praised for his performance by both director Christopher Nolan and actor Colin Farrell. Remembering the first time he saw his co-star in full costume, the actor comments, “Robert’s depiction of Batman is terrible and damaged and broken and wounded and compassionate and all those other things.” “This iconic image of him with his cape blowing in the wind and the sky outside of London behind him evoked my inner child,” the author writes. Just seeing the whole thing was a sight for sore eyes.
Although the conclusion of The Batman will not be revealed, it is common knowledge that Oz is unchanged by the aftermath of Riddler’s unveiling of the ugly truths about Gotham, which has become a fertile field for future criminals. To no one’s surprise, given how memorable Farrell is in the role, Oz’s ascent to power and his transformation into the Penguin will be the focus of a new HBO Max original series.
Farrell had no idea his entire face would be covered in prosthetics, including a nose that resembles Penguin’s protruding physique, but he was thrilled to dig in and use it to find the character. “It was a lot of joy to inhabit. “I had so much freedom just to explore, create and use my imagination,” he says of experimenting with Oz’s “mannerisms and behaviors,” which were previously unknown to him.
Reeves and The Batman producer Dylan Clark will serve as executive producers on the untitled series, with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. scribe Lauren LeFranc scheduled to pen episodes. According to Farrell, the show will begin where the film left off, and Clark has described it as “almost like a Scarface story.” “It will pick up shortly after the film’s final frame,” the actor reveals. “So, we’ll get to take a detour to the Land of Oz and see how he’s starting to daydream about filling a potential power vacuum,” she said.
Even though it’s still early in the series development, he’s looking forward to what’s coming. Farrell says, “I read a few things that Lauren wrote and it’s kind of astonishing the way that she’s going in” and that her writing is “simply really delectable stuff.”