The Penguin


  • Showrunner: Lauren LeFranc
  • Releasing: TBD
  • Number of episodes: TBD
  • Owner: DC
  • Franchise: The Batman
Oz Cobblepot

Colin Farrell

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Sofia Falcone

Cristin Milioti

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Sal Maroni

Clancy Brown

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Sometimes all it takes is one little old blockbuster movie to kickstart a whole franchise world of other films and television series. That’s going to be the case with The Batman, the Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson hit that has jumpstarted the development of a number of other stories within this world. One of them will be The Penguin which will star Colin Farrell as the titular supervillain.

While things are still in development and the world is still building, there are a number of things we already know about The Penguin series and what to expect from this show. 

Let’s take a look at everything we know about The Penguin in terms of release date, cast, plot, and more. This is shaping up to be a good one.

THE PENGUIN WILL STREAM ON HBO MAX BUT THERE IS NO OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE

With the DC Cinematic Universe going through a major overhaul thanks to James Gunn and Peter Safran taking over that studio, there were concerns about what would happen to other DCU-tangential properties. Namely, what would come of Batman‘s world, and would it be incorporated with the larger universe (or ditched altogether)?

James Gunn was firm in his original announcement about the DC Cinematic Universe’s upcoming slate that The Batman and Matt Reeves’ universe would be part of the DC Elseworlds timeline; it would continue on as planned. That was a sigh of relief for sure, seeing as how it seems like no comic book property is safe these days.

The Penguin will be an HBO Max limited series and will premiere on the streamer. This is somewhat in line with other DC properties (take Peacemaker for example) and in this way, the platform makes the right home for a series of this nature.

But as of this writing, there isn’t an official release date for the series.

COLIN FARRELL WILL STAR AS OSWALD “OZ” COBBLEPOT/ PENGUIN
the penguin colin farrell

We were first introduced to Colin Farrell as Penguin in The Batman where he mostly just went as Oz. In the movie, he’s an underling/capo to John Turturro’s Carmine Falcone, running the Iceberg Lounge which has become the go-to establishment for the Gotham underworld.

The nearly unrecognizable Farrell had a somewhat limited role in the movie, though he did steal scenes when around. He has a spine-tingling interaction with Pattinson’s Batman early in the movie, clearly not scared of what the Caped Crusader is throwing down. And later the two engage in one of the movie’s best set pieces, a high-speed chase after a busted drug buy.

We don’t know much about Cobblepot from the movie except that he’s moved up the ranks of the Gotham criminal hierarchy and is clearly a feared character in this world. Farrell was excellent in the role, removing much of the gross and/or jokey aspects of the character we’ve seen in the past. Here, he’s just a high-level and scheming thug/criminal mastermind who is prone to violence. In that way, the character is considerably more “realistic.” 

Colin Farrell will return to the role in The Penguin and will have a chance to take center stage. 

LAUREN LEFRANC IS THE SHOWRUNNER WITH MATT REEVES EXECUTIVE PRODUCING 

While we don’t know a ton about the exact direction of The Penguin series, we do know some about the creatives in charge of making it happen. For starters, Lauren LeFranc will act as showrunner and head writer. Her previous credits do have some comic book background.

She wrote on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for seven episodes and also was a writer and executive producer on the YouTube series Impulse. That was a follow-up story to the Jumper series. Lauren LeFranc has also written on Chuck and My Own Worst Enemy. From this standpoint, The Penguin should be in good hands for its limited run. 

And this is all obviously approved by Matt Reeves who reestablished the world in The Batman, giving things a decidedly different tone than we’ve seen in the past. Reeves put forth a more detective-noir vibe for the Caped Crusader (Vengeance) and gave us a gritty, dark, and grimy world of Gotham. It was clearly the right move to separate itself from previous iterations and it paid off at the box office. The flick took in $771 million over its theater run.

Though this is LeFranc’s show, it seems obvious that Matt Reeves would have significant influence over the overall tone and feel. He established as much with the original movie.

THE PENGUIN WILL TAKE PLACE AFTER EVENTS IN THE BATMAN
The Batman

Though Colin Farrell’s Penguin was more of a side character in The Batman, the series is said to pick up where the movie left off. In that way, some chess pieces have been moved around to lift his story. For starters, there’s a power vacuum at the top of the Gotham criminal chain now that Carmine Falcone has been offed.

The series is set to detail how Penguin rises to power in this world and what goes into him becoming the supercriminal we’ve known for so long. Reportedly, the timeline will start only a few days after that movie when we saw Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne/Batman and Zoe Kravitz’s Selina Kyle go their separate ways.

Remember, parts of Gotham have been destroyed in the flood masterminded by The Riddler, Falcone is dead, the top of the GCPD is all screwed up, and the city just has major issues. All of this is ripe for a guy like Penguin to start really asserting himself in the criminal game.

ROBERT PATTINSON IS RUMORED TO APPEAR IN THE SERIES

What would a story taking place in Gotham be without Batman? We might not have to wonder about that. There are early rumors that we will see Robert Pattinson reprise his Batman/Bruce Wayne role in the show. How much (if at all) he’s in the show remains to be seen.

We could see just quick glimpses, or maybe just hear references to the character. It’s unlikely the story builds itself in such a way that Batman would need to be a significant cog.

This rumor about Robert Pattinson does beg the question of who else could appear in The Penguin. For instance, Jeffrey Wright’s James Gordon is still here and Andy Serkis’s Alfred is alive and kicking as well (though he might still be in the hospital). 

Time will tell on this front and we will be sure to update you as new casting rumors and confirmations come out.

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