When Collin Farrell’s casting was announced as the Penguin in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, fans were confused for all the obvious reasons. But when the character’s first look was released, Farrell had transformed visually in a manner that nobody had imagined. The actor further went on to cement his position as a worthy addition to Batman’s rouge gallery with his intriguing interpretation of the villain on screen. Soon after, The Penguin series was announced to further The Batman universe, but given the overhaul at Warner Bros Discovery, DC’s parent studio, there were some concerns around the upcoming series. Nonetheless, in a new interview with Variety, HBO Max’s head of original content, Sarah Aubrey provided promising details about the upcoming project.
In The Batman, Farrell’s Oswald Cobblepot is showcased as a member of Carmine Falcone’s crime syndicate and the manager of the Iceberg Lounge. He receives the nickname Penguin for his appearance, though he disliked it due to its insulting connotations. He comes face to face with Batman while the vigilante is investigating the Riddler’s attacks. The chase scene between the two remains one of the highlights of the movie. By the end of the movie, Falcone is dead, paving the way for the rise of Penguin in the underbelly of Gotham. Speaking of the timeline of the series Aubrey revealed, “Penguin will sit immediately after the end of ‘The Batman’ and temporally before the events of the second movie. The show will come out in between the two movies.” She further reveals that the upcoming series will also serve as “a bridge between the two, but the actual release date, I’m not at liberty to say.”
Aubery describes the goal of the series is to “show what Oz’s life is like and that’s very much in the streets of Gotham, trying to get up and over as only the Penguin can. As a hustler and a strategist with his own ambitions.” Penguin is counted among the best Batman villains of all time; in the comic he usually likes to fancy himself as the ‘Gentleman of Crime’. Over the years the character has been portrayed by Burgess Meredith in the 1960s Batman television series, Danny DeVito in Batman Returns, and Robin Lord Taylor in Gotham.
With Farrell’s series, Aubrey explains there’s an advantage to the long-form series format: “It is a great example of having the time over eight episodes to tell a longer-arc character story with a lot of delicious twists and turns and new characters. It’s very much going to be about Gotham at that street level, because he’s not flying around like Batman does, she elaborates.” Adding, “We are all embracing that as a very specific experience for audiences to have.”
Currently, no official release date is set for The Penguin.