The Batman's universe is expanding on the small screen as a new series centered around Colin Farrell's Penguin has been making headlines even before The Batman premiered. Despite not being connected to the wider DCEU, Warner Bros. and The Batman director Matt Reeves clearly have plans to expand the franchise with them launching its own interconnected universe.
Farrell's Oswald Cobblepot is a massive part of promotional material for The Batman. Official footage from the movie has shown the villain to be at odds with Robert Pattinson's Caped Crusader several times, with one of its memorable shots being the Batmobile chase sequence that served as the money shot of the main trailer.
Even though the villain was a major part of the film's marketing, Farrell previously shared that his character, the Penguin, is only in "five or six scenes" of the movie, hinting that he only has a minor role. Despite that, reports of a spin-off about the character have led many to understand why this is the case.
While The Batman is still smashing box office records, an important update for this Penguin-centered series has been unveiled.
Colin Farell Returns as Penguin on HBO Max
Warner Bros., via an official press release, confirmed that HBO Max has given a straight-to-series order to The Penguin, a limited show that will center around Colin Farrell's mob villain from The Batman.
The studio also revealed that the upcoming series is executive produced by The Batman director Matt Reeves, Dylan Clark, and Farell himself. Lauren LeFranc is also among the EPs, and will also serve as writer and showrunner.
The Penguin (working title) is produced by Reeves' 6th & Idaho Productions and Dylan Clark Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. 6th & Idaho’s Daniel Pipski and Adam Kassan will also serve as executive producers, and Rafi Crohn is co-executive producer.
In an official statement, Farell expressed his excitement about returning to play the character on the small screen, saying that the series will explore Oswald "as he rises through the darkened ranks to become The Penguin."
“The world that Matt Reeves created for ‘The Batman’ is one that warrants a deeper gaze through the eyes of Oswald Cobblepot. I couldn’t be more excited about continuing this exploration of Oz as he rises through the darkened ranks to become The Penguin. [It] will be good to get him back on the streets of Gotham for a little madness and a little mayhem.”
Reeves also shared that the series will "thoroughly explore the inner life" of Cobblepot as he "grabs violently for power in Gotham."
“Colin exploded off the screen as the Penguin in 'The Batman,' and 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.”
The Penguin showrunner Lauren LeFranc is ready to "channel [her] inner villain" to tell the story of Oswald Cobblepot in the HBO Max series:
“I have long been a fan of the world of ‘The Batman,’ and Matt’s film is such a powerful and bold entry into the canon. I am excited and humbled to continue telling stories in the grimy world of Gotham City - and what better excuse to channel my inner villain than to tell the story of Oswald Cobblepot? I am thrilled to work with Colin, Matt, Dylan, 6th & Idaho, Warners, and HBO Max as we work to bring this story to the screen.”
Penguin's Rise in Gotham's Empire
WARNING - The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Batman.
Colin Farrell's Penguin is poised to become a major player in Matt Reeves' The Batman universe.
HBO Max giving a straight-to-series order for The Penguin further cements the idea that the studio trusts Reeves with his vision for this interconnected universe, and this could mean that more spin-offs might arrive sooner rather than later.
Given that the Gotham PD-centric series was already put "on hold" according to the director, this means that the Colin Farell-led spin-off will take the first crack at The Batman's small screen slate.
The Batman served as the perfect launchpad for how The Penguin would begin. In the film, John Turturro's Carmine Falcone was murdered by the Riddler, thus leaving Gotham's mafia organization without a leader.
This presents numerous opportunities for someone like Penguin to take over, especially considering his close ties to Falcone. At the end of the film, Oswald can be seen looking over at Gotham after Riddler's fiasco was thwarted by the Bat.
The last shot of Penguin in the movie seems to hint that he has massive plans for the city and its criminal underground, and the spinoff series will ultimately serve as the perfect avenue to showcase his wrath and his potential revenge against the Bat.
The Batman is playing in theaters worldwide.