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The best Batman villain wants a comeback, but it’s not going to happen

The best Batman villain in DCU history wants to make his return to the superhero franchise. But, unfortunately, we think he's missed his chance on this one.

The DCU, just like its eternal frenemies over at Marvel, is obsessed with the multiverse right now. In the wake of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of the Madness, Michael Keaton’s Batman returned in the DCU‘s new movie The Flash, as Barry Allen caused multiple universes to collide in a cameo-fueled cascade of horror.

From the most obscure of references (Nic Cage as Superman) to the CGI recreation of long-dead actors, no DC character from the franchise’s long history was safe. Keaton’s role was more than a cameo, though, and he played a leading role in The Flash cast as one of three Batmen. Now, off the back of all this, the best DC villain to ever grace the screen wants a return.

Speaking in the latest issue of SFX Magazine [via GamesRadar] Danny DeVito stated his openness to return to the DCU in some capacity as his iconic version of Oswald Cobblepot, AKA: The Penguin. “I would definitely consider doing it, yeah,” said the actor, on the prospect of returning via the multiverse.

“Batman Returns was a great part, it was operatic. You could just pull out all the stops. There were so many motivating things, so many things churning up inside of him. Being the odd man out – the odd bird out – brought the character out of me,” reflected DeVito, on his iconic role.

“It was an emotional experience for me because I felt it was an opportunity of a lifetime to play Oswald Cobblepot with Tim’s vision and design.”

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There’s no doubt about it then: if DeVito were to get the call, he’d be back as Oz in a heartbeat. Unfortunately for him, he’s too late.

While it was busy stuffing in as many cameos as was conceivably possible, The Flash has been one of the biggest flops of the year. This came after Ant-Man 3 encountered similar trouble despite touting itself as a major tipping point in the MCU which promised to usher in the Multiverse Saga.

No Way Home and Multiverse of Madness were big box office hits, but the concept has quickly become stale and repetitive. More importantly, at least in the eyes of studios, audiences have lost interest too. Multiverse-powered superhero movies can feel too much like inaccessible hard-work, and have recently been unrewarding. The novelty has worn off, and the hard numbers prove it.

Danny DeVito as The Penguin

So, as James Gunn develops his plan for a new era of DCU movies with Chapter 1 Gods and Monsters, one thing is quite certain: the multiverse will be off the cards. Sorry, Danny DeVito, you missed your shot. If only he’d told Michael Keaton two years ago.

For more on the DCU, take a look at our extensive guide to the DC movies in order. Or learn more about Gunn’s take over with our explainers on Superman Legacy release dateThe Brave and the Bold release dateSwamp Thing release date, and keep up with all the progress on The Penguin Show. You can also see our picks for the best movies ever made.