Looks like The Penguin is going to have some serious competition when his series lands on HBO Max. According to a report by Variety, prolific actor Clancy Brown, known for his roles in a number of other franchises, including Highlander, Star Wars, and more, has joined the cast of the series in a recurring role. He joins star Colin Farrell, who will be reprising his role from Matt Reeves‘ The Batman, of which the series will serve as a continuation. Notably, this is not the first time Brown has joined a superhero-adjacent series, as he also starred in Marvel‘s Daredevil and The Punisher series as Ray Schoonover, the colonel in charge of the secretive and deadly squad Frank Castle was assigned to before the death of his family.
The Penguin, a spin-off series revolving around Farrell’s character from last year’s blockbuster Matt Reeves-directed Robert Pattinson starring vehicle, The Batman, is building an impressive ensemble cast around its leading man with Brown the latest addition to join the ranks.
Brown will appear as Salvatore Maroni, a violent and infamous Gotham City crime don. The character was repeatedly named, but never shown onscreen, in The Batman as the character’s arrest by corrupt and bribed Gotham City officials – combined with the collapse of his criminal empire – allowed for the rise of rival boss Carmine Falcone, as well as his crime family. The character has previously been played by Eric Roberts in Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight and David Zayas in Fox‘s television series, Gotham.
Brown is no stranger to DC Comics adaptations, as he has been the long-time voice of supervillain Lex Luthor is various media for DC, including animated projects and animated projects. He is set to appear in the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4.
The series had previously added Michael Kelly (House of Cards), Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse) and Deirdre O’Connell (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). The show is set to continue the story of Cobblepot, the gangster and club owner, as he attempts to scratch and claw his way to the top of the Gotham crime ladder, over the course of eight episodes.
‘The Penguin’ Will Continue Directly On From ‘The Batman’
It will be produced by Reeves, whose direction of The Batman was met with critical acclaim upon release in March 2022. At the conclusion of The Batman, Falcone was assassinated by Paul Dano‘s deranged Riddler, who then subsequently committed an act of terror that drowned the entirety of Gotham City by bursting its floodgates. The Penguin is last seen on screen watching the sunrise after the flood, with the assumption that he is calculating how to use the events to his advantage in a destabilized society. Previous descriptions of the show have compared it to Scarface, with Penguin attempting to fill the power vacuum left by Carmine Falcone’s death.
Star Farrell has previously stated of the show, “I read the first episode, which is just so tasty and so unusual, as the character was on the page and what Matt Reeves kind of envisioned when he was thinking of this iteration of the bang up of Oz.”
The Penguin was due to begin production imminently, in time for a 2024 release.