The Batman's Penguin Spinoff On HBO Max Just Got Some Great News

Colin Farrell in The Batman
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Matt ReevesThe Batman has yet to hit theaters, but Warner Bros. already seems to be looking to the future by building out a franchise. And we’re not talking about theatrical sequels, either (not yet, anyway). In this case, HBO Max is working on television spinoffs, with one reportedly focused on the villainous Penguin, who will be played in the film by Colin Farrell. There hasn’t been much news on the project since September, when it was first reported to be in development. Now, the villain-centric series has received some great news! 

Though his status was originally uncertain, it’s now been reported that Colin Farrell will reprise his role as Penguin in the upcoming show. According to Variety, Farrell will also serve as an executive producer on the project. So far plot details are mostly being kept under wraps, but the show will apparently focus on the lead character’s rise to the top of Gotham City’s criminal underworld. Behind the camera, Lauren LeFranc will pen the show, while Matt Reeves and Dylan Clark will serve as executive producers. 

This iteration of Oswald Cobblepot is already proving to be quite popular amongst fans. The character’s boisterous personality, in particular, seems to have captured fans’ attention. Even now, I can still hear him tell Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight to “take it easy, sweetheart.” With this early buzz, it’s no surprise that Warner Bros. is seeking to give the public more of the character. And I’d wager that the Dumbo actor, who is essentially unrecognizable in the role, is going to chew up plenty of scenery as he expands on his character’s crime-filled story. 

This marks the first time that the Penguin has truly stepped into the spotlight for his own high-profile project. He’s been reimagined a number of times, but his origins most commonly establish him as a member of the aristocratic Cobblepot family, though young Oswald would eventually establish himself as a gentleman-like mobster. Based on what’s been revealed so far, The Batman’s version of the character is different, as he possesses a serious temper and a crude demeanor. One has to wonder what the villain’s backstory will look like in this particular continuity and whether any other notable characters will appear.

As previously mentioned, this isn’t the only offshoot of Matt Reeves’ superhero flick that’s currently in the works. HBO Max is also developing a series that’s centered on the Gotham City Police Department. Set one year before the events of the movie, the show focuses on a crooked cop in the GDCP who’s witnessing first-hand the corruption present in the fictional city. And like so many others, he’s also pondering the appearance of a new vigilante (Batman) who has recently come on the scene. 

But when it comes to the Penguin show, it’s excellent to hear that Colin Farrell will once again don the prosthetics and accent to bring the villain to life. It’ll be interesting to see how he pans out in the role. Because believe me when I say that many, including Batman Returns’ Danny DeVito, are eager to see him.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.