The highly-anticipated Matt Reeves iteration of The Caped Crusader is gathering more and more attention as of late. When speaking about one of the villains in The Batman, Reeves made it clear where he got his inspiration. To many fans’ surprise, Colin Farrell wo;; be taking up the helm of known Batman villain, Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin. Even more interesting is that Reeves went on record stating that his version of Cobblepot was heavily inspired by Fredo from The Godfather.
The Penguin is one of the most ruthless and main villains in the Batman mythos, and as such, has been a fan favorite for decades on end. Fredo is arguably one of the most disliked characters in The Godfather series, as he betrays Michael Corleone. However, Fredo is also one of the most known characters in all of cinema for that same reason. When Michael Corleone was betrayed by his brother Fredo, it produced one of the most known scenes in cinema history. The infamous line, “I knew it was you, Fredo,” was born. Michael kisses his brother as a sign of his inevitable death. The “kiss of death” was symbolic in Mafia families as being the sign that the person being kissed was to be killed.
Fredo was just trying to stake his claim in the family and make a name for himself, albeit by trying to get his own brother killed. Still, he was trying to make a move and it failed. That same designation is where Matt Reeves found the similarities for his version of The Penguin in The Batman. He had this to say about his version: “There’s a touch of John Cazale as Fredo in The Godfather. He’s a mid-level mobster guy and he’s got a bit of showmanship to him, but you can see that he wants more and that he’s been underestimated. He’s ready to make his move.” Reeves has long since stated that this version of Oswald Cobblepot would be an “up and coming” version of The Penguin in The Batman.
Colin Farrell also spoke about what he thought about the comparisons of Fredo to The Batman’s Cobblepot were. He claims “[Matt Reeves] mentioned Fredo to me, because Fredo’s crippled by the insignificance that he lives within, in a family that is full of very strong, very bright, very capable, very violent men. Which is why he commits the act of betrayal that he does, because he’s weak, he’s kind of broken, and he’s in pain.” Sounds like Matt Reeves and Colin Farrell are on the same page when it comes to The Batman and its portrayal of one of the most widely-recognized villains.
The Batman has certainly turned heads with its casting. Colin Farrell looks miraculously different from his normal self as his face is completely transformed to play The Penguin. When it was announced that Robert Pattinson was taking on the cape and cowl, the collective Batman-loving world went into a frenzy. Still, the trailers have painted a much grittier version of Batman that audiences have not seen just yet. That might be why The Godfather is playing such a crucial part in the inspiration and overall feel for the new reboot of Gotham’s Dark Knight.
The Batman is set to release on March 4, 2022. We can’t wait to see what Reeves has done to alter this universe.