Batman Villain the Penguin was Forbidden from Smoking On-Screen According to Colin Farrell


Certain characteristics are so closely associated with particular characters that they become virtually expected. When it comes to Colin Farrell’s portrayal of Penguin in The Batman, one thing we won’t see is his iconic cigar. Oswald Cobblepot has always had a cigarette or cigar holder in practically every form of the famous Batman villain, from his comic book origins through Burgess Meredith’s TV portrayal to Danny DeVito’s Batman Returns appearance. In The Batman, however, Farrell was not permitted to have even an unlit cigar on location, despite his best efforts to persuade Warner Bros. to allow it.



Previously, Robin Lord Taylor’s Oswald in the Fox TV series Gotham was one of the only on-screen versions of the Penguin who did not always have his smoking aid, so it is not absolutely unheard of. However, Farrell recently discussed his portrayal of the role with Jake’s Takes, and while Warner Bros. refused to give in to his desires regarding cigars, it isn’t the only difference between his first appearance as the character.



When asked how the character could evolve, Farrell said:


“I fought valiantly for a cigar, I even said at one stage ‘can I have it unlit’ and they were like no. The Oz that we meet hasn’t embodied the energy of the Penguin that we recognize from the source comics and from previous films, so I’ll see if it goes again. I’d love to explore it because he’s not an underboss, he’s not a boss, he’s just a soldier of Falcone at this stage. But he has great ambition and dreams of doing big big things”.


It’s been over a decade since Hollywood studios began rolling out anti-smoking policies under pressure from the MPAA ratings board (which was, in turn, under pressure from various anti-smoking groups to include smoking as part of its ratings determination). So even though the Penguin is a bloodthirsty villain, Hollywood doesn’t want you to see him indulging in tobacco.  So it’s doubtful that we will see Penguin’s iconic cigarette-holder the next time he appears on-screen. At least it seems clear that Farrell is planning to make this version of Oswald Cobblepot his own.


The Batman opens this weekend.

Karina Smitt

I'm not as much of a "CoMiCs NeEd MoAr DiVeRsItY & iNcLuSiOn" advocate as my girlfriend often is, but we both love funny books, crispy bacon, straight bourbon and hip hop. Add yet, we never vote the same, so we cancel each other out... and that works perfectly in my book!