The Hollywood rumour mill went into overdrive recently when a tweet by Variety journalist Justin Kroll stated The Penguin is being considered as the next big villain in DCs Extended Universe of movies.
The flamboyant villain, who hasnt been portrayed on film since 1992s Batman Begins, is apparently being considered either for Matt Reeves The Batman (which may or may not still have Ben Affleck as the star) or possibly spin-off Birds of Prey.
Take this with a grain of salt as things are constantly changing in the DCEU but I'm hearing the Penguin is possibly the choice to play the main villain in THE BATMAN. Sources add even if Reeves decide to go another route the studio could then make him the main villain in BOP
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) May 30, 2018
Its a logical step for the DCEU, which is scrambling to keep up with rivals Marvel after an indifferent reaction to last Novembers Justice League. The Penguin is one of the more popular villains in Batmans rogues gallery, but while a younger version of the character was portrayed in Gotham, he hasnt been on the big screen for 26 years.
So, who could play this latest incarnation? Heres our picks…
On the surface it seems like a no-brainer not least because the Frozen and Murder On The Orient Express star has lobbied for the part on Twitter.
The Penguin is traditionally a very extravagant character, something Broadway veteran Gad could pull off with ease. The 37 year old is also young enough to stick around for multiple appearances, and physically seems right for the part. Hes never done anything as potentially dark as this before, but given his track record in a variety of genres theres every reason to be optimistic.
Another actor that seems just right for the part, almost perfect if the character is being introduced as an older, established criminal, and has the acting pedigree to bring much-needed depth to the DC Universe.
One set back that the Oscar nominee might have is his dodgy history with blockbusters – he was part of Tim Burtons flop remake of Planet of The Apes, and played a villain in The Amazing Spider-man 2.
At 57, Roth may not be a long term solution, but if youre looking for intensity there are few actors who can compare with the British actor.
Hes played many sinister, violent characters throughout his 35+ year career, working with the likes of Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch on a number of cult classics. His mix of elegance and menace could be a perfect fit.
An actor with enormous versatility, having played everyone from Alfred Hitchcock to Dobby The House Elf, Jones physicality and track record make him an interesting choice for the part.
Hes already been a superhero villain in the Captain America films, but multiple roles seemed to have worked out fine for Infinity War and Deadpool 2 baddie Josh Brolin.
Jonahs played criminals of various descriptions in films like The Wolf of Wall Street and War Dogs, starred in the Jump Street action movies, and has even played a superhero, sort of (he voiced The Green Lantern in The Lego Movie).
Hill would be a great choice if DC keep a lighter tone of recent films Suicide Squad and Justice League.
Hes already the Internets favourite, having expressed an interest in appearing in The Batman and having worked with director Matt Reeves on the Planet of The Apes films. But even if you take that connection out, Serkis is a perfect fit due to his ability to play, well, pretty much anyone.
As a motion capture actor hes played Gollum, Caesar and Star Wars Supreme Leader Snoke. Even without digital effects he has extraordinary range, most recently playing warlord Ulysses Klau in Black Panther. If he can make you feel something for a CGI ape, he could a lot for The Penguin.