The Penguin's teaser trailer lets Batman's villains take center stage.
HBO Max has finally announced this week that their new rebranded name will simply be Max, along with a slew of new trailers and announcements. One of which, The Penguin, centers on the underworld of Matt Reeves’ Gotham as a power struggle unfolds in the wake of Carmine Falcone’s death. The series is set to star Academy Award nominee Colin Farrell in the leading role, likely bridging the gap between the 2022 Robert Pattinson-led The Batman and the upcoming sequel.
The in-production teaser, which is available to view via YouTube, shows Colin Farrell‘s Penguin vying for power amidst a series of gang violence, police crackdowns, and shifting loyalties on the street, as well as a growing fear of Batman’s violent retribution. The series promises to be a Gotham-set rendition of The Sopranos, in which morally ambiguous criminal figures such as The Penguin act as the protagonists, despite their obvious flaws. While there is no word on an exact release date at this time, the in-production teaser specifies that the limited series will be coming to Max sometime in 2024.
Alongside Farrell’s titular Penguin are The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s Michael Zegan, SpongeBob SquarePants‘ Clancy Brown, and Palm Springs‘ Cristin Milioti, as well as a host of returning low-level gangsters featured in The Batman. Milioti and Michael Zegen are set to appear as the children of Carmine Falcone, who was portrayed by John Turturro in the film, where he was murdered by Paul Dano’s Riddler. Clancy Brown is credited as playing Salvatore Maroni, the former head honcho of Gotham’s underworld, attempting to reclaim the title in the absence of Falcone’s crew.
Marvel‘s Agents of SHIELD producer Lauren LeFranc is set to helm The Penguin as the showrunner, as well as executive producing the series alongside Matt Reeves. Directors of the 8-episode run include Craig Zobel, Dylan Clark, Bill Carraro, Daniel Pipski, and Colin Farrell himself. According to the show’s IMDb synopsis, The Penguin will follow the titular character’s rise to prominence in Gotham, detailing the multifaceted corruption of the fictional city from the top down along the way.
Though little is known about the series at this time, The Penguin has already been praised for its prosthetics and makeup, making Colin Farrell almost completely unrecognizable in the leading role. With many comic book adaptations relying so heavily on CGI and visual effects, the gritty realism of The Batman and, subsequently, The Penguin provide a distinctive look that makes them both instantly recognizable. This, coupled with the teaser’s accrual of over a million views in a single day, has led to widespread intrigue for the upcoming series, almost ensuring The Penguin will be a major hit upon release.
The Penguin is one of many upcoming projects being highlighted for the launch of Max, including such recent announcements as True Detective: Night Country, Smartless: On The Road, and an upcoming Harry Potter original series. With the long-awaited merger of Warner Bros. Discovery finally carving out a path to move forward, we may see a big resurgence in high-quality scripted content on the streamer very soon.