The Batman Concept Art Reveals a Different Design for Penguin

Early concept art for Colin Farrell’s Penguin in The Batman depicts a skinnier version of the character reminiscent of The Godfather’s Fredo.

Some newly released concept art reveals a completely different design for Colin Farrell’s interpretation of The Penguin in The Batman. Writer and director Matt Reeves’ reboot, The Batman, released in theaters on March 4th, introducing audiences to Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne, aka “vengeance.” The film follows its titular vigilante in his second year as the Caped Crusader as he tracks down a mysterious serial killer in the Riddler (Paul Dano). The cast also includes Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman, Jeffrey Wright’s Lieutenant James Gordon, Andy Serkis’ Alfred Pennyworth, John Turturro’s Carmine Falcone, and Farrell’s Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot.


With its reclusive Bruce and Zodiac killer-esque Riddler, The Batman takes a fresh approach to many of its well-known comic book characters. This, of course, includes Penguin, who is a far cry from Danny Devito’s overtly bird-like portrayal in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns (1992). Farrell’s big-screen iteration of the Gotham gangster is a more grounded one, which saw him sport a bodysuit and apply hours’ worth of prosthetic makeup, making him virtually unrecognizable in the film. That said, having Farrell don heavy prosthetics wasn’t always the plan.

Related: The Batman’s Best Villain Change Is Falcone (Not Penguin Or Riddler)

Glyn Dillon, whose main job on The Batman was as a costume designer for the batsuit, recently shared some early designs he did for characters like Alfred, Riddler, Selina, and Penguin. Two of the three designs for Farrell’s character show the actor with no prosthetic makeup and wearing flashy suits. Check it out below:

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As mentioned by Dillon and implied by the release of other concept art via The Art of The Batman, originally, Farrell might have had simply a broken nose. This sort of design for Penguin would have certainly been a departure from how the “ugly” character is usually portrayed as Farrell is widely considered attractive—which is likely why Reeves and his team went with the oversized trench coat, bodysuit, and facial scars. However, the concept art does give off a Fredo vibe. In the past, Farrell and Reeves have said that their Penguin takes emotional inspiration from John Cazale’s Fredo in The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II. In The Batman, Oz is a foot soldier of Carmine Falcone and has yet to be taken seriously by his associates.

While the images drawn by Dillon do a good job conveying the feeling of a weaselly gangster doing his best to overcompensate, they are entirely different than what appeared on screen. In retrospect, Farrell’s character is arguably a standout in The Batman and fans can look forward to seeing more of him in future projects. HBO Max’s Penguin spin-off is poised to chart Oz’s rise to power ala Tony Montana in Scarface. When audiences see Farrell next in a feature like The Batman 2, he’ll likely be a fully formed Penguin thanks to what will presumably be a very mature, and R-rated series. For now, The Batman is currently streaming on HBO Max.

More: The Batman’s Ending Has The Perfect Set-Up For A New Poison Ivy

Source: Glyn Dillon/Instagram

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