Colin Farrell is returning to the DC Universe.


After his performance as the Penguin in The Batman, which landed in cinemas with a bang at the beginning of March, a spin-off show about his villainous character has been officially ordered to series by HBO Max.

Based on the character created for DC by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, whose real name is Oswald Cobblepot, the show will chronicle the villain's rise to power in the Gotham criminal underworld.

"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," director Matt Reeves said in a statement. "Dylan [Clark] and I are so excited to work with Lauren in continuing Oz’s story as he grabs violently for power in Gotham."

Farrell added: "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. Will be good to get him back on the streets of Gotham for a little madness and a little mayhem."

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Showrunner Lauren LeFranc said: "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."

Read on for everything you need to know about The Penguin.

The Penguin release date speculation

Colin Farrell as The Penguin in The Batman
Colin Farrell as The Penguin in The Batman Warner Bros.

It’s not yet known when The Penguin spinoff series will hit HBO Max.

Variety first reported the show was in the stages of early development in September 2021, but there’s currently no word on when the series will enter production, let alone land on the streamer.

If filming does kick off some time in 2022, then we may see the series land on HBO Max in 2023, but that's just speculation at this point.

Colin Farrell recently spoke to about how far along they are in the process.

"So far, the experience of maybe bringing Oz into a six or eight-hour journey is the same, it’s really collaborative," he said. "The writer, Lauren LeFranc, has some extraordinary ideas.

"And it’s just that it’s kind of an amazing character to explore, his kind of awkwardness, and his strength, and his villainy, yes, his propensity for violence. But there’s also a heartbroken man inside there you know, which just makes it really tasty.

"I would love to do it. I won’t believe it until I’m in the suit, and in Mike Marino’s make-up, and I hear action, then I’ll believe and see."

Sarah Aubrey, head of original content for HBO Max, said of the series: "We are thrilled to bring audiences a new version of this iconic DC character that they have never seen before. It is incredible to be working with Matt, Dylan and Lauren on continuing this story and to see Colin take his already exceptional performance in The Batman to the next level.”

The Penguin cast

Currently, the only cast member signed on to the project is Colin Farrell, who will be reprising his role as the titular villain.

The character, who is known for his top hat and monocle, has previously been played by actors Danny DeVito, Burgess Meredith and Robin Lord Taylor.

Farrell has teased that fans might get to see a darker version of Penguin in the upcoming spinoff.

“The Oz that we meet hasn’t embodied the energy of the Penguin that we recognise from the source comics and from previous films, so I’ll see if it goes again. I’d love to explore it because he’s not an underboss, he’s not a boss, he’s just a soldier of Falcone at this stage," he said.

Talking to Jake’s Takes, Farrell continued: "But he has great ambition and dreams of doing big, big things."

What will happen in The Penguin?

The plot is being kept firmly under wraps, and it's not yet clear whether the series will take place before or after the events of The Batman.

However, we do know some details about the upcoming spinoff.

After The Batman, producer Dylan Clark compared Farrell’s character in the upcoming spinoff series to the 1983 gangster film Scarface, so we can safely say we’re in for a gangster origin story for Penguin.

Speaking about The Batman's planned spinoff projects, Clark told SFX Magazine (via GamesRadar+): "We’re doing one with [Colin], seeing Oz rise to power, almost like a Scarface story."

He added: "It’s exciting to do something like that just as a standalone, but it speaks to the character and our movie, so that you’ll go back to the movie [and say], 'Oh, I see that backstory there, that line refers to this.'"

Is there a trailer for The Penguin?

Sadly, there isn't a trailer for The Penguin given that production is yet to begin on the series.

Watch this space!

The Batman is available to watch now on on Sky and streaming service NOW.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi and Fantasy coverage, or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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