The Batman’s Penguin Was Inspired by The Godfather’s Fredo

Colin Farrell revealed that Fredo Corleone, The Godfather movie’s Oswald Cobblepot, inspired his portrayal. Matt Reeves will direct the film. The actor will play Penguin and Robert Pattinson’s Batman, Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman, and Paul Dano’s Riddler. The Batman will be released in theaters next March. It will feature the early years of Bruce Wayne’s career as a DC hero.

The Penguin has been a relative grounding foe of Batman. Oswald Cobblepot, a prominent Gotham City mob boss, is often a flashy Gotham City gangster. He comes from a wealthy family similar to Bruce Wayne. Many Batman versions have often played up the “penguin” element of the character to make him more literal (such as Danny DeVito’s version in Batman Returns). However, Farrell’s version will be more focused on the gritty and street-wise elements of organized crime. Farrell’s Penguin may have some new inspiration.

More information about the influences behind Batman is now available. Farrell, who was speaking to Empire recently, revealed that he worked closely with director Reeves on developing his Penguin and that his inspiration came from The Godfather’s Fredo (played here by John Cazale). Farrell said that the similarities result from both characters’ insecurity over their place within their families. Farrell elaborated further:

“Reeves] mentioned Fredo because Fredo is crippled by insignificance in his life, in a family full of powerful and bright men. He commits the act of betrayal because he is weak and in pain. Oz has a fractured core that fuels his desire to rise in the criminal conspiracy. If that were ever to happen, I would love to see where that rise occurs in the second film.

Farrell’s comments clarify that The Penguin will be depicted in The Batman because of his familial connections. The connection to Fredo Corleone indicates that he will be the “black sheep” in the family and willing to take power over his family members to gain respect. This is similar to the portrayal of Fredo by Cazale in the first two Godfather movies. Despite being younger than Michael Corleone, Fredo often feels overlooked by his siblings because of his intelligence and perceived weakness. Fredo then betrays his family, and Michael orders his death in The Godfather Part II. This casts a shadow over Michael, which lasts through The Godfather Part III.

Farrell’s comments on The Penguin suggest that fans can expect to see a mix of old and new versions when The Batman launches. Although audiences have never seen this version of Oswald Cobblepot on the big screen, it is very similar to the characteristics of The Penguin in the DC comics. It’s now up to Farrell to decide if he will explore The Penguin in multiple movies. This is similar to what Cazale did with Fredo in the Godfather trilogy. This new version of The Penguin will be available to the public when The Batman premieres. It is already proving to be an intriguing and creepy performance.

The Batman director and producer discuss why the movie is coming out of the DC Extended Universe. Ben Affleck has played the Caped Crusader in the superhero franchise’s previous film, The Flash. However, Matt Reeves’ Planet of the Apes filmmaker will play the role again next year. Robert Pattinson will be playing the new version of the beloved character. Batman is currently arriving in theaters on March 4, 2022, despite some delays caused by pandemics.

The Batman was initially intended to be Affleck’s first solo project. Affleck was also contracted to write, direct and produce the film. Reeves expressed his desire to see Bruce Wayne in his early days as a vigilante, so Affleck resigned from the film. The filmmakers decided to make Pattinson the DCEU’s younger version, but they did not want him to play that role. This was in line with Todd Phillips’ Joker film in 2019.

Similar: What Ben Affleck’s Solo Batman Movie Was All About (Snyder Cut Setup

Reeves and Clark discuss the reasons behind making a standalone movie as part of an episode on Batman in Empire. The director felt it was essential to create an iteration with a personal element. Having to “connect to all the other things in the DCEU wouldn’t have been an obstacle to this process. Clark points out that Warner Bros. Studios has always been interested in exploring characters from all angles. This allowed the Batmanteam to ignore any other done with the same hero. Check out Clark’s quote below:

Warner Bros. has a multiverse in exploring new ways to use the character. We don’t want to get involved. Matt is keen to push this character to the emotional depths of his character and shake him to his core.

Based on Batmantrailers, Reeves seeks a darker version of Bruce Wayne than seen on the big screen. That’s quite an accomplishment. Many big-name villains are featured alongside Pattinson’s hero. Zoe Kravitz plays Catwoman, and Colin Farrell plays Penguin. However, Riddler is the main antagonist, as played by Paul Dano. Although Riddler has been depicted in many cartoonish ways, Reeves took inspiration from the real Zodiac Killer who taunted police officers and the media with ciphers and was never caught.

Batman is standalone. WB is unlikely to create a Zodiac-Esque Riddler Canon within their family-friendly franchise. Clark’s description that the studio’s multiversal approach is interesting because their rivals at Marvel Studios embrace the multiverse in their storytelling and draw outside characters into their shared continuity. It will be interesting to see if audiences embrace Batman as they have adopted Spider-Man: No Way Home.


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