The introduction of multiverses into superhero films has made the old new again. With the third Spider-Man film planning to include characters from all former iterations, and with The Flash movie bringing Michael Keaton back as Batman, there’s no limit to the possibilities, or the rumors that are sprouting around DC and Marvel films. One such rumor suggests that Danny DeVito might be playing the Penguin again, this time in The Flash.
The rumor comes from gossip writer Daniel Richtman, who posted the rumor on his Patreon page, saying that WB wants Danny DeVito to return for a cameo in the upcoming DC film. As of right now, the only actors from earlier Batman films cast in The Flash are Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck, both playing different versions of The Caped Crusader. It is unclear where Richtman heard this news from, but it seems more hopeful than based on any facts.
Considering the number of Batman villains in previous films, it also seems strange that the one The Flash would focus on bringing back would be Danny DeVito from Batman Returns. DeVito played the character in the 1992 film, and the Penguin never appeared in another film since, although Colin Farrell will play the Penguin in The Batman. It would even make more sense for Michelle Pfeiffer to return as Catwoman, considering her relationship with Bruce Wayne in Batman Returns. While of course, DC would also probably like to get Jack Nicholson to return as Joker, his retirement makes that seem extremely unlikely. Of all the villains that Keaton faced as Batman in the first two Tim Burton films, Penguin seems like the least essential.
However, having Danny DeVito return as the Penguin would be shocking, especially considering how terrifying the character looks with all his makeup. Also, considering how beloved DeVito is with a younger audience, due to starring on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, it’s possible DC might want to play off his continuous popularity. But again, this all seems like wishful thinking at this point, especially since Michael Keaton is the only actor from Tim Burton’s Batman films to sign on to The Flash at this point.
But Danny DeVito has also been taking on bigger projects in recent years. In 2019, DeVito reunited with his Batman Returns director Tim Burton for a live-action reenvisioning of Dumbo. DeVito also starred alongside Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Danny Glover in Jumanji: The Next Level. Most recently, DeVito did a voice for the Disney+ film The One and Only Ivan in 2020, in addition to his role as Frank Reynolds on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
But with filming on The Flash starting in April of this year, and the film not scheduled for release until November 4, 2022, we can expect plenty more rumors of characters from DC films past making their return in this film. Bringing some of the villains from Michael Keaton’s era of Batman would certainly be a surprise, and add more weight to his character’s story, but at this point, it doesn’t seem like there’s any evidence that Danny DeVito, Jack Nicholson, or Michelle Pfeiffer are even being discussed for The Flash. It would definitely be a cool addition to this new era of DC, but at least at this point, it doesn’t look very likely.