Colin Farrell, 45, is returning to Gotham in a new HBO Max spin-off, based on his version of the villainous Penguin from The Batman. The project was announced as a straight-to-limited-series order on Mar. 9, following the blockbuster success of the Robert Pattinson reimagining of the DC Comic classic, which came out Mar. 4 and has already grossed close to $250million a box offices worldwide.
Colin said he was thrilled at the chance to reprise the role. “The world that Matt Reeves created for The Batman is one that warrants a deeper gaze through the eyes of Oswald Cobblepot,” the Irish actor said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter. “I couldn’t be more excited about continuing this exploration of Oz as he rises through the darkened ranks to become The Penguin. Will be good to get him back on the streets of Gotham for a little madness and a little mayhem.”
The Penguin may be one of the biggest villains Colin has ever taken on, but he’s played plenty of unsavory characters through the years. See Colin’s sinister on-screen history here.
Penguin (‘The Batman’)
Colin Farrell completed transformed for playing The Batman villain Penguin, also known as Oswald Cobblepot. It’s a role that has been played by many accomplished actors including Burgess Meredith, Danny DeVito, and Robin Lord Taylor. However, Colin’s prosthetics, which took more than four hours to put on, have made the villainous role look more frightening than ever before. He even scared some poor unsuspecting coffee drinkers when he went to Starbucks in full costume.
He shared that he drew inspiration for Oz from another famous character. “There’s a certain amount of brokenness in Oz that, I think, as a reference, not for me performance-wise, but just emotionally, as a reference for Matt — I think Fredo from The Godfather was a bit of a reference,” Farrell told MovieMaker. “Fredo was frowned upon as less than the other brothers, and maybe Oz as well, in his life, was looked upon as somebody who wasn’t capable. And so that’s one of the things that fuels Oz.”
Penguin isn’t Colin’s only comic book villain. Colin committed hard when he played Marvel villain Bullseye, aka Ben Poindexter, in the 2003 film Daredevil. Bullseye is not only Daredevil’s archnemesis but a psychopathic assassin who uses his profession to fulfill his homicidal urges. Not only did he shave his head for the role but he fully embraced his character’s nefarious behavior as he said during a press conference that while filming, he’d “check my sanity in at the door and just have a field day.” “Bullseye was great. He was so black and white. There were no shades of gray. He was just an insane assassin and derived so much pleasure from his work as a killer.”
Percival Graves (‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’)
Colin had a bit of character “Inception” going on in the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. He played Percival Graves who was really Johnny Depp’s Gellert Grindelwald in disguise. Percival served as the Director of Magical Security who ended up sentencing the film’s hero Newt Scamander to death. In fact, his character is so evil that he believes his character killed the real Percival in order to disguise himself as him and take his place. “Maybe he’s buried in a shallow grave and he’s going to die of starvation 17 hours after the film ends,” he theorized of poor Percival’s fate to MTV.
Jimmy Egan (‘Pride And Glory’)
Pride And Glory is a classic crime drama that features Colin as the black sheep of his family who runs a corruption ring with your classic drugs and murder. The 2008 film’s protagonist, who is played by Edward Norton, is his brother-in-law and is ultimately the one who exposes Jimmy’s corruption. While the film didn’t get rave reviews, Colin proved once again that he can play a great villain.
Bobby Pellitt (‘Horrible Bosses’)
Collin was in fact one of the horrible bosses in Horrible Bosses. He hilariously plays the son of Jason Sudiekis’ character’s boss, Bobby Pellit. Bobby embodies the unreal combination of avid martial artist and cokehead and his jerkish personality only comes through more when his father dies from a heart attack and he takes over as boss and exploits the company and his employees. It’s safe to say his character was hilariously and delightfully horrible.
Charles Ambrose (‘Solace’)
In the 2015 film Solace, Colin plays yet another killer– this time a serial killer! He plays across Anthony Perkins who is a psychic who is trying to help his cop friend catch a murderer. Colin shows up halfway into the film and reveals himself not only as the murderer but another psychic who kills the terminally ill to put them out of their misery. The thriller was intended to be a sequel to Se7en and while it was a flop, Colin delivered another fascinating and intense performance as a villain.
Jerry Dandridge (‘Fright Night’)
Colin appeared in the 2011 remake of Fright Night. In this film he plays undercover vampire Jerry Dandridge. Since ancient times, the vampire has been slaying beautiful women and has managed to get away with it until the neighborhood teenager, Charley discovers his secret. Colin raises to the occasion of the zany nature of this cult classic.