The Batman: HBO Max Spin-off’s ‘Dark’ Story Teased by Star

By Russ Milheim Updated:
The Batman movie, HBO Max

According to the star of the upcoming Penguin series, The Batman spin-off will be quite a dark affair.

It didn't take too long after the success of Robert Pattinson's Caped Crusading debut before Warner Bros. took to greenlighting spinoffs. Among them was one focusing on Arkham Asylum and another on Colin Farrell's Penguin.

While many were worried James Gunn's recent new plans for a rebooted DCU could end up canceling the project, that was not the case.

Ahead of production starting up, its lead actor has teased what the show will look like.

A Dark Story for The Penguin

The Batman logo, The Penguin, Colin Farrell

In an interview with Gold Derby, The Batman and The Penguin star Colin Farrell shared his thoughts on the upcoming DC Comics spin-off, while also teasing how dark the story is.

When asked directly if audiences will be blown away by what the new spin-off will have to offer, Farrell admitted how "[he doesn't] know," but that everyone will certainly "be blown away by the makeup:"

“I don’t know. Jesus, I don’t know. I mean, you’ll be blown away by the makeup, because it’s just… I don’t know how and I couldn’t I don’t know enough about the materials, and about the different choices of skin tone that Mike Marino and Mike Fontaine are are using, but it’s… even the makeup is even somehow in a very subtle way even better… It’s just more perfected."

The star shared that they still have some makeup and camera tests to do before filming starts "on the 27th or 28th of this month:"

"So, I’m in New York now. I’ll head back to Los Angeles tomorrow. We spent the last two days, three days in New York doing makeup tests, and camera tests with wardrobe, and stuff, and meeting some of the other actors. And we start shooting on the 27th or 28th of this month."

He went on to note that "The Penguin show is dark," and that with all of the impressive makeup, he's able to explore that darkness in a unique way:

"'The Penguin' show is dark but there’s– I’ve just got such license to explore in it and there’s such a kind of– I’ve referred to it before– such a freedom beneath the makeup. There’s some kind of permission you’re given to explore in a way that’s hard to give yourself when it’s just your visage."

Farrell called "the first five of eight" scripts "extraordinary:"

"So I’m super excited about it. I’ve read the first five of eight and they’re, without shadow of a doubt, extraordinary scripts. They’re so good man which doesn’t even doesn’t mean… I’m not saying that the show’s gonna be. I just– it’s on paper, such f**king great stuff. I’m so excited.”

The Rise of Oswald Cobblepot

It's no surprise to hear that the show will be dark. After all, Matt Reeves' first journey to Gotham City wasn't exactly a walk in the park either.

Though this time around, in theory, the story could get as dark as they want. The creatives aren't writing for a wide theatrical release but rather a premium cable network instead. 

So, a proper MPAA rating isn't holding that aspect of the title back as much.

When it comes to the show's narrative, however, there's one big question: what about Batman? 

It seems that the story would have to go out of its way to consistently justify the absence of Batman—especially since the series' events are rumored to happen not too long after the first film.

The Penguin does not currently have an official estimated release window, but with production ramping up, sometime in the first half of 2024 is likely.

As for when fans will see a proper full-fledged sequel to The Batman, that one isn't happening until October 3, 2025.

- In This Article: The Penguin
Release Date
Clancy Brown
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.