The universe of Matt Reeves’ The Batman is expanding exponentially. Separate from the DCU involving the other DC heroes, Reeves’ world is hyper gritty, and focused solely on the world of Gotham City. And the first project of this new The Batman-verse is an HBO Max series focusing on Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, a.k.a. the Penguin. Here’s everything we know so far about the upcoming series centered on the so-called criminal King of Gotham, once again played by Colin Farrell.
As far as anyone knows, the title of the series is simply “The Penguin.” Although that may change closer to release.
The Penguin’s Plot
Based on early statements, it seems the plot of the series focuses on Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot as he rises in the ranks of Gotham’s underworld, and becomes a power player. It will take place in the aftermath of the flooding of Gotham City, as seen in the final act of The Batman. Here’s what producer Matt Reeves had to say about the show’s premise:
Colin exploded off the screen as the Penguin in The Batman. Having the chance to thoroughly explore the inner life of that character on HBO Max is an absolute thrill. Dylan and I are so excited to work with Lauren in continuing Oz’s story as he grabs violently for power in Gotham.
Star Colin Farrell also clarified when exactly the show takes place, confirming they will set it immediately post-The Batman.
[The Penguin] starts about a week after the film The Batman ends. So Gotham is still somewhat underwater… I read the first script for the first episode, and it opens up with my feet splashing through the water in Falcone’s office. Even just that alone, I read it, I was like, ‘Oh, jeez.’ It’s lovely. It’s so well-written.”
The goal of this is to show what Oz’s life is like and that’s very much in the streets of Gotham, trying to get up and over as only the Penguin can. As a hustler and a strategist with his own ambitions. It is a great example of having the time over eight episodes to tell a longer-arc character story with a lot of delicious twists and turns and new characters. It’s very much going to be about Gotham at that street level, because he’s not flying around like Batman does. We are all embracing that as a very specific experience for audiences to have.
Although not confirmed, we imagine the Penguin’s infamous Iceberg Lounge will play a central role in the series. It is not yet known how (or if) the HBO Max Arkham Asylum series will tie-in to The Penguin series. Only that it will be set in the same universe.
Lauren LeFranc will write the script for the series and serve as showrunner. The Batman director Matt Reeves and producer Dylan Clark will serve as executive producers, along with star Colin Farrell. Reeves won’t be directing, at least not early on. Directing an early episode is Craig Zobel.
The Penguin Cast
In the title role is the returning Colin Farrell. Also in the cast is Cristin Milioti as the female lead of the show, Sofia Falcone. Just like her comic book counterpart, Sofia Falcone is the daughter of Carmine Falcone. John Turturro played the elder Falcone in The Batman. Sofia is fighting with the Penguin (Farrell) for control of the city. This is very much like her character in Batman: The Long Halloween, a big influence on Reeves’ version of Gotham. No word yet on if other characters from the film will appear.
The Penguin Release Date
The Penguin hits HBO Max sometime in late 2023 or early 2024.
Originally published November 9, 2022.