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It wasn’t exactly a secret, but it also wasn’t exactly official, either. Now, though, it’s confirmed and out in the open: Colin Farrell will reprise his role as Penguin in The Batman, thanks to a just-revealed series order set to debut the small-screen spinoff at HBO Max.
Variety reports that Farrell will star in a “limited series” based on his gangster portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot (aka Penguin) in director Matt Reeves' new big-screen adaptation of DC's iconic hero. The series reportedly will track the Penguin’s rise through the ranks of organized crime in Gotham City after the events of The Batman, with Reeves (an executive producer on the new show) recently describing it as “like an American Dream, Scarface Gotham story. Like Tony Montana, no one thinks this guy can be anything, and he has a brutal desire to prove everyone wrong.”
Farrell is the only announced cast member so far, and no release date or official show title has yet been revealed. But the creative team behind the spinoff appears to be set, with genre writing veteran Lauren LeFranc (Impulse, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hemlock Grove) reportedly serving as writer and showrunner. Reeves is reported to be producing under his 6th and Idaho banner, alongside The Batman producer Dylan Clark as well as Daniel Pipski (The Brothers Grimm, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series). The spinoff is being developed for TV by Warner Bros. Television.
“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,” Reeves told Variety. “Dylan and I are so excited to work with Lauren in continuing Oz’s story as he grabs violently for power in Gotham.”
**SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers below for The Batman!**
As a recent guest on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Reeves said Farrell’s Penguin carries a ton of intrigue ripe for exploration beyond his villainous turn in The Batman. “I thought that there was a story in the wake of what happens at the end of this story, where there's a power vacuum,” he explained. “And that's why, right now, you see Oz at the end of the movie looking out over the city, standing in Falcone's office, and thinking 'OK.' The idea there was that he has been underestimated by everyone, but he knows.”
Looks like we’ll be watching The Batman with fresh eyes in the months to come, all to spy potential clues and cues that might point the way toward the Penguin’s next chapter. Catching tons of critical praise and banking big at the box office, The Batman is playing now in theaters nationwide.