Colin Farrell unrecognisable in first 'The Batman' trailer

This weekend Warner Bros. launched the first teaser trailer for the in-production The Batman, a forthcoming reboot of the classic DC superhero.

The gritty promo video for the film, first revealed during the DC FanDome virtual event, was met with widespread acclaim from fans, who hailed the first look as a triumph.

Pitched somewhere between Christopher Nolan’s grounded Dark Knight trilogy and Tim Burton’s stylish Michael Keaton films, the film – from War For The Planet Of The Apes director Matt Reeves –looks like a new take on the 80+ year series, introducing new versions of beloved characters including Bruce Wayne, Catwoman, Riddler and Alfred.

But it’s a new incarnation of Batman’s long-time nemesis the Penguin that has got people talking online. Irish actor Colin Farrell is playing Oswald Cobblepot in the film, and he’s early in his criminal career, as Reeves explained during FanDome.

Colin Farrell as Penguin in The Batman (Warner Bros,)
Colin Farrell as Penguin in The Batman (Warner Bros,)

“Os isn’t the kingpin he’s going to become, he’s not the Penguin, in fact he doesn’t like being called the Penguin,” the director explained.

It’s not the Penguin we know, and – judging by the trailer – it’s not the Colin Farrell we know either. The 44-year-old heartthrob is unrecognisable under layers of incredibly realistic SFX makeup, giving him pock-marked skin, a double chin, hooked nose, and cleft chin.

Colin Farrell as Penguin in The Batman (Warner Bros,)
Colin Farrell as Penguin in The Batman (Warner Bros,)

In one scene he looks like character actor Richard Kind, while in another he looks more akin to Robert De Niro. Fans were taken aback.

Reeves revealed that the film shows Batman early in his career as the Caped Crusader.

“Because it’s still early, and because he is a vigilante, which means he takes the law into his own hands,” Reeves said.

“If you were in a city and there was a guy who dressed up as a bat, and showed up out of the shadows, and sometimes confronted those people and beat them up because he felt what they were doing was wrong, so he could put the fear of god into them about the crimes that they were committing, I think we would think, ‘That guy sounds a little dangerous.’”

“He’s not the version of the character he becomes, where he’s this symbol of hope for the city. He’s early in the trajectory, so they’re afraid of him, frankly.”

The Batman is currently in production and will come to cinemas in 2021.