Near the end of the Matt Reeves film The Batman (2022) Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot A.K.A The Penguin stands inside Falcone’s office as the sun rises, looking over all the devastation caused by The Riddler. What is Oz thinking about? Is he in total shock? Is he disheartened by his boss being a rat? Or does he see opportunity as Gotham goes forth in its reconstruction after the flood? As a new dawn rises over Gotham City, so does new ideas in the mind of The Penguin.
After watching The Batman, I found it rather underwhelming in comparison to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Even though Matt Reeves sculpted a whole new vision, and a new kind of world for Robert Pattinson’s version of the young caped crusader, the pace of the film’s story was too slow for its own good. In the end The Batman will go down as being in the top-five-lists of the best adaptations amongst DC fans no matter what people like me think. One of the biggest highlights to come out of the film was the performance of Colin Farrell as Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot, who only has the nickname of “penguin” due to a limp in the story’s timeline. He is a mid-level mobster, a bag man, and chief lieutenant to Carmine Falcone (John Turturro).
Colin Farrell is literally unrecognizable in his depiction of Oz. It’s not just because of the prosthetic makeup, but Colin seemed to get lost in the character. The New York City type of accent he had was so convincing, I kept forgetting Oz was being played by an actual Irishman. Every scene with “The Penguin” are the most memorable, with both an underlying intensity and a sense of humor. The script obviously suggests that the man will have a future in Gotham, a force to be reckon with for someone like Batman.
With Matt Reeves being inspired by such films like Blade Runner and Seven for the movie The Batman, it looks like — according to the teaser trailer — The Penguin, an upcoming series for HBO Max (or now MAX… whatever) will be heavily influenced by the one television series that changed everything… The Sopranos. Reeves has stated that in developing the pilot script with screenwriter Lauren LeFranc, they were inspired by such films as Scarface and the 1980 film The Long Good Friday. (Just watched that movie last night on HBO Max. I highly recommend it.) Matt Reeves also said that the series is an American Dream tale, with Oz being considered “underestimated… nobody thinks he’s capable of doing anything [but he] believes in himself with a visceral violence.”
And by what I can see from the teaser trailer for The Penguin. It looks like it will be a real true underdog, anti-hero kind of story. A real “Rudy Ruettiger” inspirational tale for the criminal underworld. Much like the real life Al Capone, Oz Cobblepot hates the nickname other people call him: “The Penguin.” He finds it demeaning. He must feel that when people call him that name, they are ridiculing him, and dismissing him as simply a lughead fool with nothing to contribute. Much like Arthur Fleck in the film Joker (2019), Oswald Copplepot might learn to embrace what makes him look like a freak to everyone else in the criminal underworld.
Near the end of the teaser trailer, he asks an unknown figure: “Can you imagine the people saying my name on the streets after you’re gone? Have it mean something?”
When the series begins streaming on Max next year, we will find out exactly what that name it will be.
Below is a Behind The Scenes Featurette from the blu ray for The Batman: