The last month has seen a steady trickle of casting news regarding The Batman, Matt Reeves’ standalone Batman movie with Robert Pattinson in the titular role.
Today we get not one, but two bits of casting news: Deadline reports that the movie is eyeballing Colin Farrell to play the role of the Penguin (the role that Jonah Hill reportedly walked away from) to round out the main trio of Batman villains, and The Wrap is reporting Andy Serkis is in talks for the role of Bruce Wayne’s loyal and longtime butler, Alfred Pennyworth. As of now, Warner Bros. has no comment on either casting, but it seems the deals are fairly close to being done considering how far along in the casting process the production is.
If he signs on, Farrell will join a cast already stacked with talent and Batman baddies: Paul Dano recently signed on to play the Riddler and Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman. At the time, I said we could expect the final few major roles to be announced within the next few weeks. And here we are.
This wouldn’t be Farrell’s first rodeo with playing a comic book villain on the big screen, having previously played Bullseye in 2003’s much-maligned Daredevil. As Bullseye, Farrell’s deranged, tongue-in-cheek performance was arguably the best part of a movie that most would agree was legendarily bad, with all the wrong kinds of camp. It would be fascinating to see him tackle a villain in a movie that is far more grounded and gritty, particularly now in the age of peak comic book films.
As for Serkis, his ties to The Batman run deep: He and director Matt Reeves worked closely together on the Planet of the Apes franchise. Serkis’s portrayal of Caesar the ape was the central performance in a trilogy that many film fans consider to be one of the more solid and consistently excellent trilogies in the modern era. Reeves took an epic action-adventure movie but managed to anchor it in layered, complex emotion and genuine stakes.
Both of them would be strong additions to a cast that is already looking less like a superhero movie lineup and more like one you might see in an Oscar-bait film.
The Batman is set for a release date of June 25, 2021. We’ll keep you updated as any news develops.