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Batman Rumor About Danny DeVito's Preparation For The Role Of The Penguin Is Confirmed By Tim Burton

Tim Burton, a legendary director, verifies a well-known rumor regarding Danny DeVito's approach to portraying the Penguin in Batman Returns in 1992

Speaking to Empire, Burton offered information on DeVito's methodical approach to the Penguin in the 1992 follow-up to his 1989 smash film Batman. He tried to bite people as they passed him in the makeup chair, according to Burton. "But really, you've been sitting there for eight hours and you're seeing yourself devolve into this enormous slug. In a humorous manner, it will be difficult to resist." The Penguin originally appears in Detective Comics #58, with a cover date of December 1941, written by Bill Finger and illustrated by Bob Kane.

With his distinctive top hat, monocle, morning suit, and lethal umbrella pistol, he earned the moniker "Gentleman of Crime" and became as one of the key figures in Batman's colorful rogues' gallery of supervillains. Prior to DeVito, the role was most closely associated with Adam West's 1960s Batman television series co-star and fellow Rocky actor Burgess Meredith. Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in Tim Burton's first Batman movie, suggested that DeVito be hired as the Penguin in Batman Returns.

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DeVito's portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot in Batman Returns made his performance stand out for its unsettlingly spooky quality. But the actor remembered more than just the four and a half hours it took to dress up and put on makeup; he also remembered being attacked by a spider monkey during filming.

DeVito stated, "The monkey comes down, takes one look at me, and jumps at my balls. It was really frightening, I swear to God. It moved slowly, baby. Thank God I'm wearing this suit right now, which is all padded and crap. Right here, he got hold of something. Everyone lost their minds as he swallowed a huge bite. You know, they go over and say, "Cut, cut, cut," and the monkey is connected. The trainer approaches and snatches the monkey off of my leg as he pulls it off. Thank God, I didn't feel anything! this far away, say? Without a doubt, I wouldn't be sharing this tale right now.

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In Matt Reeves' The Batman, Colin Farrell became the next actor to portray the Penguin on the big screen, and both audiences and reviewers praised him for the role. DeVito admitted that while he liked Farrell's interpretation of the part, he still preferred Tim Burton's conception. DeVito indicated an interest in returning to the part of the Penguin opposite Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in Andy Muschietti's The Flash, which will see Keaton's Batman Returns co-star reprise his role as the Dark Knight.

Tim has to decide whether or not to do this, so I don't rule out the possibility of The Penguin returning at some point, stated DeVito. "We aren't yet dead, so I would say that possibility exists (laughs). Given that the previous work was so excellent, we could continue in that direction. I'm pleased that they gave me the chance to do it, and would I like to do it again? of course! For me, it was a truly wonderful period."

Source: Empire

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