UPDATE: While the video has been updated, none of the commentary below (from 2016) has! Please consider this a re-post!
With this episode, we are one-third of the way through my interpretation of the Arkham Knight story mode. Enjoy this milestone!
As you know, I've named every episode in this series after a character (a villain most of the time) who plays a significant part in that episode. However, that shouldn't take away from the fact that the main plot of all the episodes centers on the overarching criminal scheme of Scarecrow and the Arkham Knight. For instance, we don't get a scene with this episode's title character the Penguin until Act 3 (which was also the case with last week's villain). Act 1 consists of continuing our effort to rescue Oracle by chasing after the Arkham Knight - a chase that includes another ambush by the game's title character and culminates in a truly harrowing interrogation sequence - and Act 2 primarily showcases the abilities of our newest gadget (and quite possibly the best one in the game), the Disruptor.
In fact, the vast majority of this episode follows the structure of the game directly, so there aren't even any editing changes I made to the story that I can explain in a behind-the-scenes manner. The lone piece of personal content in the episode is a brief montage showcasing some of the particular skills that would make Batman an asset on the baseball diamond - namely his ability to swing the bat (i.e. use melee weapons stolen from enemies), run the bases (you can execute a feet-first slide by tapping the "crouch" button while running), and play the field (the principles behind throwing a batarang are very similar to throwing a baseball... I would know, I've done both).
But of course we do meet not one but TWO new characters in this episode, which means I get to posit two casting choices for my hypothetical live-action version of Arkham Knight. The first is Nightwing, Batman's very first sidekick, who had given up the Robin identity and moved from Gotham to Blüdhaven at some point before the events of the Arkham series. But when Nightwing returns to Gotham for Arkham Knight, I would like to see the character played by Bradley Cooper. He can absolutely pull off the wry wit that Dick Grayson is known for, his hair would look great flowing out the top of Nightwing's weird mask, and most importantly, Bradley Cooper publicly idolizes Daniel Day-Lewis (my first choice to play Batman), and this would be a great opportunity for the two to work together.
Which brings me to the Penguin, one of Batman's most iconic villains, who is as ruthless and cunning in strategy as he is diminutive in stature. In the Arkham Universe, the character is a Gotham native who speaks with a cockney accent due to his time in a London boarding school. Given that Nightwing's demeanor gives his character some comedic undertones, and given that his story is intermingled with the Penguin's, I think the role of Oswald Cobblepot should be played by someone with a strong background in comedy: Stuart Pankin. Now before you look at the name at the top of this blog and shout out accusations of nepotism, let's look at the facts. Pankin has a long and storied career, including previous Batman experience, I happen to know that he can do a great cockney accent (in addition to being pretty competent in cockney rhyming slang), and while he's quite a bit taller than Penguin's listed height of 4'10", he would look quite a bit shy of imposing next to a 6'2" Batman.
Plus, as Samm Levine recently quipped while filling in as guest host on an episode of Kevin Pollack's Chat Show, "Hey Show Business: If you're not sure if Stuart Pankin can deliver for you, go f**k yourself!" Enough said?