ByChris Ogden, writer at
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Chris Ogden

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The Penguin

The penguin or Oswald Cobblepot is a character who holds the potential to truly put a face to organized crime in the DC cinematic universe. He's a sadistic character obsessed with money, power, and control. In my opinion, the Penguin, much like Batman, needs to have a sort of duality between the somewhat gentlemanly charismatic Cobblepot side of him and the always lurking rage and hunger for power that can burst through at the drop of a hat. I'm not really concerned with height but more with acting ability and appearance with this character.

1st option- Mark Addy

Can you see it?
Can you see it?

I wasn't sure how well Mark Addy would do in Game of Thrones when I first learned of his role but I quickly discovered how wrong I was for doubting him! He delivered a deep character that even after showing himself to be quick to anger and not a very nice person was still relatively likeable. That would be a great direction to take with the Penguin since most adaptations of him make him so villainously unrealistic with his money obsession and sadism that it is very difficult to like him. That's not to say that he should be loveable character by any means but I'd definitely settle for mildly sympathetic or at least relatable. With a look that would work very well for the Penguin, an ability to be both likeable and full of rage, and a great accent to boot, Mark Addy would make a spectacular Penguin.

2nd option- John Goodman

Just throw on a monocle, top hat, and a pointy nose
Just throw on a monocle, top hat, and a pointy nose

Much like Mark Addy, I had always thought of John Goodman for his time on Sitcoms (such as Roseanne) but when you think about Goodman's appearances on movies like the Hangover III or The Big Lebowski, you see how dark and rage filled a character he can really be. Given his roles as Dan or Sully, I think he would possibly make an even more likable Penguin than Mark Addy. However this brings up a question- how likable do we really want the Penguin to be? Addy would potentially be more realistic and tend more towards the darker side whereas Goodman would make for a more comical and relatable Penguin with bouts of rage possibly even being shocking coming from Goodman's Penguin. I think Goodman's immense size might also make him more physically intimidating compared to Mark Addy. Again though- is this what we want?


Which would you prefer to play the Penguin?


Brainiac is a robotic villain obsessed with knowledge making him much more intellectually intimidating than physically. His obsessive quest to discover every piece of information available and his utter lack of empathy make him dangerous. On the other hand, he has stood toe to toe with Superman meaning that his mental strength is at least comparative to his physical strength. In my opinion, much more than casting a buff actor, I believe the voice and the personality should be the most prominent feature as he is more of an intellectual threat. The physical side of it could be done with Mo-cap and computers.

1st option- Alan Rickman

Who better than the half-blood prince himself?
Who better than the half-blood prince himself?

With an iconic dead-pan yet pointed British voice, Alan Rickman could really show deep character and personality though still maintaining the illusion that he is essentially a sentient robot. It would take quite a lot to make this character relatable but if anyone could do it without adding too much humanity, it's definitely Rickman. Also, he's kind of got the look- minus the hair, of course.

2nd option- Christoph Waltz

Just look at that cold gaze...
Just look at that cold gaze...

As we've seen form Inglorious Bastards, Christoph Waltz makes one hell of a villain. He's got a unique voice that would sound interesting even if it were robotimized a bit and he's got a look that would be incredible with the Brainiac design. With some good writing, he would be an unbelievable Brainiac in my opinion.


Which would you prefer as Brainiac?


Cheetah makes a good rival for Wonder Woman not only due to her savage nature and brutal disposition, but also because she helps to break the whole women are weak stereotype that is still so present today. She's like Catwoman on steroids except, unlike her more domestic counterpart, Cheetah doesn't make small talk or flirt with her enemy as much. She's more the type to just rip your throat out and get back to work which makes her deadly and a slightly less sexualized villain. Well, a little less anyway....

1st option- Michelle Rodriguez

Known for her 'tough-chick' roles (i.e. Fast and the Furious franchise, Avatar, etc.), Michelle Rodriguez would bring a level of savagery and brutality that could really bring Cheetah to life. She wouldn't be the type to fall into a sexy femme fatal stereotype but, rather, would likely create a character that wasn't brutal 'for a woman' but just straight up brutal, which would be essential for this type of role. Additionally, she's definitely got the look that would pull this character off brilliantly.

2nd option- Alexa PenaVega

The former Spy Kid has definitely been on the rise in past years and has become a wonderful yet rather nonbrutal part of the show Nashville, showing off her voice rather than her martial arts training. Despite this, with a history of playing a young spy and a badass in the Machete sequel, Alexa is just about due a return to her fighting roots and what better way to do it than to become a super villain, right? On top of her acting ability, she also definitely has the look. If you want to go for a more sexualized Cheetah this would be the way to go.


Which do you think would make a better Cheetah?

Ra's Al Ghul

The great 'head of the demon' is a character who needs to be suavely intimidating and darkly charismatic in kind of forceful way. He's vastly old- though he doesn't look it- and very intelligent. He also leads a group of assassin's in a quest to rid the world of evil. The lethality in his attempts to purge the planet of evil often lead him to butt heads with Batman, who he intends to recruit to take his place. This character in the DCCU could be a character that holds the potential to really create a crisis for the Dark Knight or be a symbol of great wisdom and history, which is why the actor portrayal is so vital.

1st option- Jason Issacs

From Lucius Malfoy to Captain Hook, Jason Isaacs has an uncanny ability to play the villain spectacularly. He holds the potential to create a bone chillingly charismatic Ra's Al Ghul while also maintaining the dark, angry, and somewhat insane personality that comes from abusing the Lazarus Pits. Also, he already voiced Ra's Al Ghul in the "Batman: Under the Red Hood" animated movie adaptation and did a great job!

2nd option- Aidan Gillen

If you've seen Game of Thrones then this option requires no explanation! Gillen is dangerously charismatic and presents a level of depth to his characters that (arguably) vastly outweigh Jason Issacs. Not to mention that he already has the hair. If you wanted to create a Ra's Al Ghul that is relatable and dangerous then look no further!


Which do you prefer as Ra's Al Ghul?

Follow me to keep an eye on the next installment of the DCCU Villain Fancasting!


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