by Ryan Rigley
Dark. Gritty. Real. These are the words that come to mind when one thinks of Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy. It's no wonder that the revered filmmaker decided not to include The Penguin in his version of the Batman universe. Often depicted as a short, portly man with a love of birds and umbrellas, The Penguin is not someone that necessarily strikes fear into the hearts of men.
But then again, Nolan has proven quite capable of re-imagining some of Gotham's lesser known villains and turning them into forces to be reckoned with (i.e. Bane, Ra's al Ghul, and Scarecrow). It'd be interesting, if nothing else, to see his take on a character that's already been successfully portrayed in movies of Batmen past.
Read on for more about how The Penguin could have worked in the Nolanverse!
Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot was not a very adorable child. He was quite the opposite actually, with his small, rotund build and beak-like nose. Luckily for him, he was born into a life of luxury with the Cobblepots being among the first families to take residence in Gotham City. Due to the untimely, pneumonia-related death of his father, Oswald's overprotective mother made him carry an umbrella with him at all times.
After his mother died and the rest of his high class family rejected him, Oswald turned to a life of crime. Calling himself "The Penguin," a name that the children at school used to make fun of him, Oswald created the "world's first .45 caliber umbrella" and killed a crime boss in cold blood, usurping the leadership of his gang.
The Penguin has already been famously portrayed by Danny DeVito in Tim Burton's "Batman Returns." However, this incarnation of The Penguin was a former freak show performer rather than a gentlemanly figure of organized crime. We imagine that Christopher Nolan's take on The Penguin would be more along the lines of his comic book counterpart; a brilliant criminal strategist whose wealth is only matched by his intelligence.
In the comic books, The Penguin owns and operates an established restaurant/casino called the Iceberg Lounge which he uses as a front for his organized crime racket. This, of course, would fit right in to the Nolanverse that focuses so heavily on Gotham's crime families and the overabundance thereof. There's also the fact that the Cobblepot family name is almost as famous as the Waynes, with both families playing a huge part in the foundation of Gotham City. Perhaps, The Penguin would be able to besmirch Bruce Wayne on multiple levels: calling out his family's namesake and also his identity as the Caped Crusader.
Would It Have Worked?
Honestly, people just can't seem to take The Penguin seriously. Maybe it's because of his weird obsession with birds or maybe it's the fact that most of his weapons are shaped like umbrellas, but one thing is definitely for certain: Oswald Cobblepot is not a very threatening man. No matter how much revamping and revitalizing Nolan imbued in the character, he'd always be that same lame, old Penguin.
Would Penguin have worked in the "Dark Knight" trilogy? Tell us why or why not in the comments section or on Twitter, and tune in tomorrow another rogue Nolan missed!