It’s the 80th Anniversary of the Penguin and what better way to celebrate than to dive into the secret origins of Danny DeVito’s take from Batman Returns?! We cover the attempts to bring Penguin to BATMAN 1989 and early versions of him in “Batman II.” Then we cover the deleted backstory of Penguin being Max Shreck’s secret brother as well as the influence of DeVito’s Penguin on other versions.
Featuring the voice of Jackson Putnam as The Penguin in the opening. Big thanks to Jackson. (Fun fact: Jackson recorded this audio for us without knowing that we had an upcoming episode on The Penguin)
10:58 Penguin in Tom Mankiewicz's unmade The Batman script
We covered the Tom Mankiewicz script (and Burton and Hickson's treatment) here:
You can read the Mankiewicz script here: https://genius.com/Tom-mankiewicz-batman-revised-first-draft-annotated
We also cited an article (that Ben partially collaborated on) from Batman-Online.com on the comic book connections to Batman Returns: https://www.batman-online.com/features/2009/1/2/possible-influences-of-comics-on-tim-burtons-batman-returns
Tom Mankiewicz told Starlog Magazine that his dream cast was:
A well-known director has been approached, but his identity cannot be disclosed at this time. Also, nothing is definite yet regarding casting.
Mankiewicz, however, would prefer to see Jack Nicholson as the chalk-faced Joker, Peter O'Toole as the Penguin, David Niven as Alfred, and in the Christopher Reeve tradition, an unknown as The Batman.
You can find a record of it here:
Joe Dante was likely the director mentioned since he confirmed later that he was involved and had wanted John Lithgow as Joker:
Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT confirmed to be the same project where Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy were considered to be Batman and Robin, which seems to be a separate comedic take that was being considered.
26:27 Penguin in Tim Burton and Julie Hickon's unmade Batman script treatment
If you have a Scribd account, you can read the Burton-Hickson treatment here: https://www.scribd.com/document/437924384/Batman-1985-Treatment
28:49 Penguin in Sam Hamm's Batman 2 script
We covered Sam Hamm's Batman 2 script here:
You can read it yourself here: https://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/batman-returns_unproduced.html
To represent the finale of Hamm's script, we showed fan art from our fan Logan Wood:
Check out his Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/shanehelms121/
43:41 Were There OTHER Actors Considered for Penguin?
This dubious list of Penguin actors come from Wikipedia:
Jackson Putnam brought up that other potential inspirations for The Penguin's makeup, other than Lon Chaney's London After Midnight character, were:
Edison's Frankenstein from the early film adaptation:
Dr. Caligari from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari:
And Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:
53:03 Tucker and Esther Cobblepot
The concept art that was taken from a book comes once again from Batman: The Definitive History of The Dark Knight In Comics, Film, And Beyond by Andrew Farago and Gina McIntyre. You can get it here:
55:45 Was The Penguin Max Shreck's Brother?
You can check out Daniel Waters's original draft of Returns, titled Batman II here:
57:46 Penguin in Daniel Waters's Batman 2 Script
The concept art of Penguin comes from the featurette, which you can see here:
The Fantazone article where Waters mentions Robin working for Penguin can be found here:
Some other concept art comes from the DC Movie Wiki: https://dcmovies.fandom.com/wiki/Oswald_Cobblepot_(Burtonverse)
The concept art of Penguin addressing the penguins came from here:
Logan also provided us this amazing meme:
1:22:59 Was Penguin Actually Raised by Penguins?
1:25:38 Did Penguin Kill His Own Parents?
Did Penguin Kill His Own Parents?
1:32:51 DeVito's Influence on Other Penguins
The original Bruce Timm sketch of Penguin came from here, which was also taken from the Batman Animated book by Chip Kidd:
1:41:37 Danny DeVito's 80th Anniversary Penguin Story
1:48:46 Last Thoughts on DeVito's Penguin
The comic to screen comparisons for Batman Returns also comes from the Batman-Online article, mainly the contributions by user Silver Nemesis:
1:55:44 Closing: Fan Comments & Social Media Promotion
BIG thanks to our research assistant Dan Yamat for providing the visuals for this YouTube experience, as well as providing QC and the chapter time codes.
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