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Friday, February 25, 2022 

Batman moviemakers no longer allow Penguin to smoke cigarettes

Not even with a filter-holder. Variety spoke with actor Colin Farrell, who says Warner Brothers decided The Batman movie cannot depict the top-hat-wearing adversary smoking tobacco as he'd been seen doing in past comics:
The Penguin is often depicted in comic books with his trademark top hat, monocle and cigarette, but none of these signatures are sported by Colin Farrell in the upcoming “The Batman.” The film takes place before Oswald Cobblepot’s full transformation into the villainous Penguin. However, Farrell recently told “Jake’s Takes” that he “fought valiantly” for his pre-Penguin Oswald to smoke in “The Batman.” The studio turned down such a request.

“Big studios make big decisions around such things as the presence of cigarettes in films,” Farrell said. “I fought valiantly for a cigar. At one stage I said, ‘I can have it unlit! Just let me have it unlit.’ They were like, ‘No.’ [As if] a bunch of 12-year-olds are going to start smoking Cuban cigars because [the Penguin is smoking cigars in a movie.]”
Well there have been signs this movie will be PC enough already, and if Catwoman's also in the cast, then it's beginning to look like a remake of 1992's Batman Returns, where both characters were cast, so what's the use of rewatching it again? This also reminds me that DC may have subject some of their comics to this bizarre censorship of tobacco smoking long ago, recalling that by the 1990s, Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick's smoking seen in the original debut was retconned away. The notion a villain can't smoke either is even more bizarre. And you thought it was hypocritical enough when DC/WB decreed Batman and Catwoman couldn't have sex in an adult cartoon starring Harley Quinn.

WB/DC aren't alone in their absurd elimination of smoking from their storytelling:
Emma Stone had to deal with a similar smoking ban while making “Cruella.” Disney put a ban on smoking in all of its films in as early as 2007, then extended the ban to all Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar offerings in 2015.

“That is not allowed in 2021,” Stone told The New York Times last year after the publication noted that her iteration of Cruella is a non-smoker. “We are not allowed to smoke onscreen in a Disney film. It was difficult to not have that cigarette holder…I was so excited to have that green plume of smoke in there, but it was not possible. I don’t want to promote smoking, but I’m also not trying to promote skinning puppies.”
Well that just demonstrates the hypocrisy and inconsistencies in filmmaking coming from major studios, and comics writing. Smoking is prohibited, even if points are made in-story why it's unhealthy, but jarring violence is allowed, along with allusions to the same when it comes to the 101 Dalmatians, and drugs like cocaine probably are too. It's important to note Marvel, under Joe Quesada, banned smoking about a decade prior to their sale to Disney, but strangely allowed Brian Bendis to depict Jessica Drew smoking at one point when he was writing Avengers. Yet violent content continued unchallenged for many years, and the hypocrisy's really hit a low point as the 2020s decade unfolds. No doubt, if you know where to look, there's a ton of vulgar profanity to be found in many of these major films too. Blockbuster moviemaking really has become a joke, regardless of whether it's R-rated or not, and comics are close on their heels.

And there's honestly been way too many Bat-movies and other related products of recent too, one more reason why this new take on the Masked Manhunter is decidedly worth skipping.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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