HBO Max has given a straight-to-series order for The Penguin, a limited spinoff series of The Batman, which opened to massive critical and commercial success this past weekend. The newly greenlit show will follow the titular Penguin, once again played by Colin Farrell, who will be reprising his villainous role from the superhero film, Deadline is reporting.
The movie’s co-writer, directer and producer, Matt Reeves told Deadline’s Hero Nation podcast that The Penguin will pick up where the feature left off, in regards to the Gotham kingpin, whose real name is Oswald Cobblepot. The series will be executive produced by Reeves, Dylan Clark, Farrell and Lauren LeFranc, who will also scribe and serve as the showrunner on the spin-off project.
The Penguin isn’t the first Batman spinoff show to be planned at HBO Max. The film’s original spinoff series, which was conceived and being developed by Reeves, would have followed a corrupt cop’s actions in events that took place before the movie. However, the project was ultimately cancelled by the streaming service.
While speaking about The Penguin, Sarah Aubrey, the Head of Original Content at HBO Max, said: “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.”
Reeves also commented on The Penguin: “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. Dylan and I are so excited to work with Lauren in continuing Oz’s story as he grabs violently for power in Gotham.”
LeFranc also spoke about the planned show: “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.”
“The world that Matt Reeves created for The Batman is one that warrants a deeper gaze through the eyes of Oswald Cobblepot,” Farrell said about the limited series. “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.”
LeFranc penned The Penguin‘s pilot, which is based on characters created for DC by Bob Kane with Bill Finger. The limited drama series will be produced by Reeves’ 6th & Idaho Productions and Dylan Clark Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television, where Reeves and 6th & Idaho are under an overall deal.
The Batman garnered the biggest opening weekend for its distributor, Warner Bros., during COVID-19, as it earned $258million. The drama, which stars Robert Pattinson as the eponymous superhero, also marked Hollywood’s second biggest opening weekend during the pandemic. As of yesterday, the movie’s worldwide gross went up to $301.3 million.