Word has been quiet on The Penguin, an upcoming limited series that follows Colin Farrell‘s scene-stealing portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot from this year’s The Batman. Though it was the source of early intrigue when it was announced, developments have been generally slow, making one wonder if the project was still moving forward. Fear not, though. The Penguin is still expected to waddle its way onto HBO Max, especially with a high-profile, award-friendly filmmaker attached to helm the streaming show.
As it was announced earlier today, Craig Zobel, who received two Emmy nominations for his work behind the lens on HBO‘s acclaimed Mare of Easttown, will call the shots and executive produce the new DC series, which hasn’t disclosed how many episodes it’ll have in total. The series will serve as a sequel as well as a spin-off to this year’s DC blockbuster, as it shows Cobblepot’s attempt to overtake Gotham City’s seedy criminal underworld following the splashy events that transpired in this year’s film.
As Discussing Film reported, discussions are still ongoing regarding Zobel‘s involvement, particularly as they’re looking to figure out what the director’s availability will be for their estimated early 2023 start date. Along with working around Zobel‘s availability, they’ll also need to work around Farrell‘s, particularly if the actor enters the awards season circuit for his well-acclaimed lead role in The Banshees of Inisherin.
Certainly, The Penguin is expected to be a heavy commitment. Slated to start in January in New York City, the production is expected to run through the late summer, suggesting that a fair bit of 2023 will be devoted to shooting this show. There’s no release date set for the series, but one can expect it to drop in either late 2023 or early 2024 —depending on how much post-production work is involved in this series.
While Matt Reeves directed The Batman, to wide acclaim, it’s currently unclear if he’ll be directing any episodes of this new series. Certainly, he’ll be busy with preparations for The Batman 2, which will eat up his time. But as one of the main creatives involved, his directorial influence isn’t an impossibility here.
Along with directing Mare of Easttown, Zobel also lent his vision to notable episodes of Westworld, The Leftovers, and American Gods. He also helmed Compliance, Z for Zachariah, and 2020’s controversial political satire The Hunt. But it was ultimately his work on Mare of Easttown that has earned him the most notice and praise, particularly as he finds himself engendering high-profile projects like this one.
While the conversation around The Penguins has been mum in recent months, it sounds like we’ll be learning a lot more about the program as it moves forward. As always, we’ll keep you posted on the latest updates and developments as they arise.