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How Penguin From The Batman Should Really Look

Contains spoilers for "The Batman"

Batman has been adapted for the big screen by numerous filmmakers, all of whom have interpreted the character and his stories in unique ways. Tim Burton, for example, embraced the pulpier element of Gotham's caped crusader while adding his trademark Gothic-horror stylings to the proceedings in 1989's "Batman" and its sequel, "Batman Returns." Joel Schumacher, meanwhile, leaned into the campier side of the Dark Knight when he was tasked with helming "Batman Forever" and "Batman & Robin." Elsewhere, Christopher Nolan opted for a more grounded and realistic approach to crime-fighting in the "Dark Knight" trilogy.

The latest iteration of the World's Greatest Detective on the screen comes from filmmaker Matt Reeves, best known for his work on "Cloverfield" and the most recent "Planet of the Apes" trilogy. "The Batman" is a neo-noir thriller with horror elements, boasting a story that focuses on a psychologically damaged Bruce Wayne, aka Batman (Robert Pattinson), as he proclaims to be vengeance incarnate. That being said, this Batman spends as much time investigating mysteries as he does throwing down with Gotham's resident goons, which is a throwback to the comics in many ways (via Nerdist). Furthermore, Reeves' realization is arguably the darkest and grittiest adaptation to date.

Naturally, "The Batman" also takes some creative liberties with the source material and presents familiar characters in fresh and interesting ways. The film's depiction of the Penguin, for instance, is a huge departure from any other incarnations of the villain on the screen. But how is the character supposed to look?

How The Batman changed the Penguin

The Penguin, otherwise known as Oswald Cobblepot, has been one of the most popular villains in the "Batman" oeuvre for decades. Known for his umbrellas, cigars, extravagant tuxedo, and trademark waddle, the crime kingpin has a recognizable look that just screams villainy. Over the years, he has been portrayed by the likes of Danny DeVito ("Batman Returns") and Robin Lord Taylor ("Gotham"), both of whom established a firm image of the character in the pop-culture imagination.

However, Collin Farrell's Penguin in "The Batman" isn't the same menace who's graced previous movies and TV shows. For a start, the cigar, top hat, and tuxedo are all gone in exchange for everyday gangster clothing. He does carry an umbrella at times, but it doesn't possess the ability to fire bullets. Farrell, who lobbied for a cigar, discussed the changes in a December 2021 interview with Empire (via ComicBook). The actor acknowledged the key alterations made to the character, but he also wants fans to know that it's still early in Cobblepot's quest to become the familiar foe. "Oz is not yet fully inhabiting the mythology of the Penguin and doesn't take too kindly to the [Penguin] moniker," Farrell revealed.

It remains to be seen how the Penguin will evolve in the "Batman" franchise moving forward. However, he will return to the fold in a substantial way. Warner Bros. has major plans for the character, so fans can look forward to a more fleshed-out story at a later date.

The Penguin will return in his own spin-off series

While he probably should have died in "The Batman," the Penguin survived the chaos and will live to fight another day in Gotham's criminal underbelly. Warner Bros. has ambitious plans for the character, who is set to receive his own spin-off TV series. The story will reportedly chronicle Cobblepot's rise from mid-level Gotham gangster into the grandiose crime kingpin he's typically depicted as in the movies, TV shows, and comics. Details about the series are being kept close to the vest at the time of this writing, but early reports have compared it to "Scarface" — a mob saga that follows one gangster's ascension in the criminal underworld.

Of course, it's highly likely that some changes will be made to the Penguin character in this version of the DC franchise. Most characters differ from their older counterparts in some way, after all. "The Batman" gives us a menacing serial killer version of the Riddler (Paul Dano) who wouldn't seem out of place in a movie like "Se7en." Then there's the Joker (Barry Keoghan), who, despite being hidden behind a cell door during his brief cameo in the movie, doesn't appear to resemble any previous versions of the character.

In short, it remains to be seen if the Penguin will rock top hats and fire bullets from an umbrella in the spin-off series and future movies. At the same time, the unpredictability is exciting in its own right, and it'll be interesting to see it all unfold.