Filmmaker Craig Zobel has been tapped by HBO Max to direct the first two episodes of The Penguin, its much-awaited Batman spinoff. He will also serve as executive producer of the show, with Lauren LeFranc writing the script. Starring in The Penguin is Colin Farrell, who played the villainous Oswald Cobblepot in The Batman earlier this year. The Penguin will focus its attention on Cobblepot’s notorious past and trace his rise to power in Gotham.
Zobel is already part of the family, having previously directed The Mare of Easttown for HBO Max. The prolific director also applied his talents to episodes of Westworld, The Leftovers, and American Gods.
Zobel is one of the most in-demand talents these days. The Hunt, which he did for Universal and Blumhouse, opened in March 2020 after having originally been cancelled due to the El Paso shootings. He next directed HBO’s The Mare of Easttown, a series starring Kate Winslet that garnered two Emmy nominations for him. Zobel also directed Z for Zachariah.
Born in New York City, Craig Zobel got his film training at North Carolina School of the Arts, where he met David Gordon Green, with whom he collaborated on several early projects. One of his first efforts was Homestar Runner, an animated cartoon he co-created with Mike Chapman.
News of the new project was first reported in Discussing Film, which noted that Zobel’s schedule was still under discussion, though production will likely begin in New York early in 2023. If all goes according to schedule, viewers could be enjoying The Penguin by the end of that year. It’s also unclear whether Matt Reeves will be returning to direct any of the other episodes in the series, since he’s currently heavily involved in preliminary work for The Batman 2.
The Penguin is a product of 6th & Idaho Productions and Dylan Clark Productions in association with Warner Brothers Television. Daniel Pipski of 6th & Idaho is serving as executive producer, with Rafi Crohn as co-executive producer.