'The Batman': Colin Farrell says Danny DeVito gave him 'the green light' to play Penguin (exclusive)
Watch: Colin Farrell reveals Danny DeVito's Penguin reaction
Colin Farrell says he exchanged text messages with Danny DeVito after he landed the role of Penguin in The Batman.
The 45-year-old Irish actor is unrecognisable under make-up as underworld figure Oswald Cobblepot in Matt Reeves' film, in which Robert Pattinson plays the titular role.
Farrell's take on the character pays homage to mob movies with both his appearance and his accent, which differs from other screen portrayals of the Penguin.
Read more: Danny DeVito's Batman Returns costume art up for big money auction
"For me, Burgess Meredith was the first recollection I have of the Penguin being portrayed, because I grew up as a kid watching the Adam West TV show," Farrell told Yahoo Entertainment UK.
While Meredith was his first experience of an actor playing Penguin, Farrell said the duology of Tim Burton Batman movies — released in 1989 and 1992 — were "important films" in his teenage years.
The second of those movies — Batman Returns — introduced Danny DeVito as a physically grotesque incarnation of Penguin.
Farrell added: "I was a teenager, I think, maybe 11 or 12 when the first Burton film came out and then an early teen for the second. So Danny DeVito, my old pal Danny."
Read more: The Batman movies that very nearly got made
The star revealed that he and DeVito have known each other for several years and already kept in touch before his The Batman casting, after they worked together for Burton on Dumbo.
He said: "[DeVito] was lovely. He sent me a text just saying that he was very excited to hear the news and he was looking forward to seeing what I did and all of that kind of stuff.
"I was very touched by it. He was cool. He gave me the green light."
The Batman takes on a younger version of Bruce Wayne than previous big screen incarnations of the Caped Crusader, with the vigilante still in the early years of his superhero guise.
Farrell said he is "excited" at the prospect of the film sparking a franchise, which would allow him to delve further into the character of Penguin as he becomes an even more dangerous villain.
Read more: How The Batman leans on the character's detective roots
"I only did six or seven scenes, so for me it's just the tip of the iceberg as well. It was a lot of fun to play and I think there's loads of places we can go with it," he said.
"I think he's dangerous and he's kind of funny and he's awkward and there's something quite grotesque about him - not physically, I mean internally. There's lots of fun places we can explore, I hope."
The Batman is in IMAX and UK cinemas from 4 March, with IMAX previews on 3 March.
Watch: Trailer for The Batman