The Batman’s Penguin Spin-off Show Will Begin Production In February: Colin Farrell, who plays the title character in Matt Reeves’ The Penguin spin-off series, has revealed what viewers may anticipate from the project.
In an interview with Variety, Farrell claimed that his portrayal of the Penguin as a cunning and sleazy mobster who may or may not have “unit” in The Batman was simply the “tip of the iceberg.”
The only thing Farrell could think of was that she wasn’t getting to explore the character as much as she had hoped. “Because of all the incredible work [makeup artists] Mike Marino and Mike Fontaine and his team had done, I naively believed that the six or seven sequences we were able to film were only the tip of the iceberg. Although I was appreciative of them, I desired more.”
Batman has provided nearly 80 years of live-action brilliance since his first appearance on screen in 1943, so let’s look at the live-action heritage of the characters in Batman: from Bruce to Alfred to Selina to Jim Gordon and beyond.
Batman starred in two 15-part black-and-white movie serials in the 1940s before experiencing his incredibly groovy heyday in the 1960s. In the films Batman (1943) and Batman and Robin (1949), he was first portrayed by Lewis Wilson and then by Robert Lowery. Additionally, audiences would get their first glance at Dick Grayson, Vicki Vale, Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon in these movies.
Thanks to Adam West’s portrayal of Batman in the enjoyable, campy 1960s TV series and its significant Batman movie offshoot, Batman would reach new heights of popularity. West was THE Batman for this generation of TV watchers, which included filmmaker Joel Schumacher. The series’ ironic tone was the perfect way to present Batman.
In his magnificently gothic Batman films, director Tim Burton drew out the darkest aspects of the character, employing (usually humorous) actor Michael Keaton in the menacing main role (much to the dismay of some fans at the time, who, lacking internet, were just to forced to be mad alone in a room). Although Keaton was excellent and captivating in the part, his two films tended to be more on the antagonists than Batman.
However, Keaton is miraculously reprising his role as Bruce Wayne in this year’s The Flash.
On Joel Schumacher’s lighter, more cartoonish Batman movies from the 1990s, Val Kilmer and George Clooney both played Bruce Wayne/Batman, although neither one particularly made an impact in the role. Even now, Clooney still believes that he was largely responsible for the death of the Batman film series.
Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman
We may have needed a few seconds to get acclimated to Christian Bale’s “Batman’s voice,” but in Christopher Nolan’s ground-breaking Dark Knight Trilogy, Bruce Wayne is played to perfection by Christian Bale. Bale gave us unprecedented access to Bruce’s fractured psyche as Batman, making him the character who has been most “grounded in the real world” to date.
He continued by expressing his admiration for the makeup team’s efforts and Farrell acknowledged that he had no plans to do a Penguin spin-off series before the filming began.
“Sincerely speaking, any consideration I had for a lengthy series was related to Mike Marino’s creative output. I just realized there was so much to age up or age down with it. He’s such a talent, Mike, so really the idea came from his work.”
The news of The Batman universe’s spin-off programs has long been eagerly awaited by fans. The specifics of the other series are still unclear, although Farrell’s was essentially set in stone.
What was originally going to be a Gotham PD-focused show turned into a horror-style series about Arkham, but both ideas are allegedly currently being developed as separate projects.
The Batman’s cast and crew have also expressed what they hope to learn from the full sequel. While filmmaker Matt Reeves aims to include Mr. Freeze in his grimy and dark Batman universe, Pattinson wants to take up the Court of Owls saga on his own.
Reeves is apparently in discussions with other filmmakers and writers to create movies based on Batman villains like Scarecrow, Clayface, and Professor Pyg, so these might only be the beginning of a much broader universe.
“Matt Reeves’ brutal, exciting, darkly beautiful take on The Batman more than merits its place in the franchise’s canon,” IGN wrote in our 10/10 assessment of the first film.