Not that he needed it, but Colin Farrell has earned the approval from fellow Penguin actor Danny DeVito for his portrayal of the iconic villain in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. In an interview with The Wrap, DeVito said Farrell “did a great job” of disappearing into the character, but he prefers Tim Burton’s take on the Caped Crusader to Reeves’ gritty, emo version.
“I thought Colin did a great job,” DeVito said. “Certainly a different milieu. I think it was a more edgy, serious, gangster-y Batman. Of course, there’s three Italians who are bad guys in it, the Falcones (laughs). But I feel like in terms of the performances, I thought Colin — who is a good buddy of mine — I think he did a great job in that. You take your hat off to anybody who sits in the makeup chair that long. I did it with The Penguin and loved it.”
DeVito played The Penguin in Batman Returns, Burton’s sequel to 1989’s Batman, so it’s only natural that he might be biased toward the earlier movies. As the actor told The Wrap, he prefers Burton’s “operatic” version over the more serious approach of Reeves.
“My feeling of comparing the two movies, I’m like a Tim Burton fan,” DeVito explained. “I like the whimsical, the operatic, the disaffected Pee-wee Herman throws me off a bridge (laughs). That makes me smile. So it’s a different situation, but I did watch the movie.”
For context, 1992’s Batman Returns features a cameo of Paul Reubens as Penguin’s father, Tucker Cobblepot. In the opening scene, he sets off The Penguin’s origin story by throwing his deformed child off a bridge.
Fans of Farrell’s Penguin will be able to see him reprise the role in HBO Max’s upcoming spin-off series, in which Reeves and Farrell will explore the rise of Oswald Cobblepot. Meanwhile, DeVito continues to star in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which recently completed its 15th season.