The Batman trailer dropped last weekend, and in addition to being really cool, it also featured our first look at Colin Farrell as The Penguin. Although many people didn’t realize that, at first. Farrell pops up in the trailer three quick times and is completely unrecognizable buried under the makeup used to turn him into Oswald “The Penguin” Cobblepot. And if you feel silly for not recognizing him, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Even Farrell’s co-star Jeffrey Wright didn’t recognize the actor when he saw him on set.

When The Batman trailer arrived, a few people started guessing that a pudgy, frowning man who bore more than a striking resemblance to Richard Kind seen in the footage was none other than Colin Farrell as The Penguin. However, the make-up work is so good that just as many people doubted it, and we wouldn’t get confirmation until the following day, when the film’s make-up effects artist Michael Marino revealed via his Instagram account the guy in question was, indeed, Farrell.

While appearing on The Jess Cagle Show on SiriusXM (via The Playlist), Jeffrey Wright, who plays Batman ally Jim Gordon in the film, confirmed that he, too, had trouble recognizing Farrell once the actor was slathered in all that makeup. “Talk about artists, man. I’ve worked with that makeup artist before and it’s just incredible,” said Wright. “Colin walked onto set one day, and I walked right past him [laughs]. I was like, ‘OK, hey dude, what’s happening, where’s Colin, are we going to shoot?’ It was, it’s pretty remarkable.”

Wright also had plenty of good things to say about the movie. Specifically, in regards to how the film plays up Batman’s detective skills, something other films really haven’t done much with: “When I read the script I said to myself, ‘Yeah this is on it’…You go back to the original [Batman comics], it’s DC, it’s Detective Comics and the script is really beholden to that, beholden to this idea that Batman is the world’s greatest detective. I think as Gary Oldman once described, Gordon is something of a Watson to him. The script honors that, and it also set a tone that was very clear, and a tone that has been captured in that trailer.”

This is all music to my ears. I was skeptical about The Batman, but after that trailer, the words director Matt Reeves had to say about the film, and the stuff Wright says here, I’m excited to see how it all shakes out. The Batman opens October 1, 2021.

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