"I even at one stage said, 'I can have it unlit, just let me have it unlit', and they were like, 'Nooooo'."
As much as he would have loved to see it happen, Colin Farrell and his Penguin from 'The Batman' won't be smoking any cigars or living up to other interpretations of the comic book villain... For now.
The Irish star plays Oswald "Oz" Cobblepot in the upcoming standalone feature, with Robert Pattinson as the titular winged crusader. Expected to be more villain-orientated than any other 'Batman' cinema release, the rest of the cast includes Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler and John Turturro as mob boss Carmine Falcone.
Farrell spoke about his smoking dilemma in a recent interview with YouTuber Jake's Tales. When asked if, further down the line, we might get to see what we all know to be the full Penguin costume (a man chain-smoking cigars, wearing a top hat, walking with a cane, complete with a monocle in one eye), Farrell admitted he tried his best to have at least one of these elements brought into his character's physical presence on screen.
Unfortunately, however, given the film's more grounded-in-reality nature, Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. were having none of it.
Farrell said: "I fought valiantly for a cigar. I even at one stage said, 'I can have it unlit, just let me have it unlit', and they were like, 'Nooooo'. Like a bunch of 12-year-olds were going to start smoking Cuban cigars.
"Listen, I have no idea where it goes, but (pardon the pun) it's the tip of the iceberg. The Oz that we meet hasn’t embodied the energy of the Penguin that we recognise from the source comics and from previous films, so I’ll see if it goes again.
"I’d love to explore it because he’s not an underboss, he’s not a boss, he’s just a soldier of Falcone at this stage. But he has great ambition and dreams of doing big, big things."
Here's the full ensemble cast interview, with Colin Farrell speaking about Penguin and his cigars from 10 minutes 30 seconds in.
During the interview, Farrell also revealed that former Penguin actor Danny DeVito ('Batman Returns') gave him his blessing for playing the villain. The pair previously worked together on Disney's live-action remake of 'Dumbo'. He said: "Danny was very kind, he sent me a text when he knew that I was going to do this. Which was lovely. Got the green light off him."
'The Batman' makes its cinema debut on March 4.