Matt Reeves’ DC universe began with his neo-noir crime epic The Batman in 2022 and will continue with an HBO Max original series following The Penguin’s rise to power. Reeves’ movies don’t take place in the same official universe as the DCU, so there are plenty of opportunities for the director to tell a darker, less restrained story throughout the course of his series/spinoffs. His take on Gotham is much grittier and more violent than the DCU’s, avoiding needless humor and getting straight to the point with a dark story that mirrors some of DC’s most beloved comic storylines.
Colin Farrell’s version of The Penguin is very similar to what comic book fans will expect from the character; he’s filled with anger and rage, but that lighthearted sense of humor is still present to separate him from his overly-brooding colleagues. Penguin is possibly The Batman’s most important villain, and although he spends much of the movie in the shadows, it’s clear that he’s going to have a much larger role once he fully consolidates his influence over Gotham City in the spinoff series. Presuming the character makes it through this story unscathed, he’ll likely be a huge part of Reeves’ long-term plan for the franchise.
The Penguin TV Show Latest News
As of February 2023, The Penguin TV show has reportedly begun filming and in an interview with Variety, Farrell claimed that they’re anticipating a shoot of five or six months. If this is right, the show can be expected to be entering the production process in the late summer months. Given the large budget of the show, that stage will likely take several months before the footage is ready for release. Recently emerged set photos from The Penguin reveal several DC characters that will be making their first appearances. One of these characters is Sofia Falcone, who plays a huge role in the Batman comic runs.
The Penguin TV Show Confirmed
The plans for Reeves’ Penguin TV show were confirmed shortly after the critical and commercial success of The Batman, with Farrell being the first cast member whose involvement was announced. It will connect directly to The Batman’s narrative, expanding Reeves’ vision of Gotham City through the Penguin’s perspective. It was also confirmed in March 2022 that an Arkham Asylum series would be going ahead, taking the place of a previously-rumored project surrounding the GCPD. Despite many steps forward in this Arkham Asylum spin-off, the details are still firmly under wraps.
Behind the scenes, both Reeves and Dylan Clark will serve as executive producers on the show, so it’s safe to assume that much of The Batman’s signature style and voice will also be present in this show. The creator, showrunner, and writer is Lauren LeFranc, who’s best known for her previous work on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The exact lineup of directors hasn’t yet been announced, but it has been announced that Mare of Easttown’s Craig Zobel has announced that he’ll be helming The Penguin‘s first two episodes (via THR).
The Penguin TV Show Release Date Info
Although HBO hasn’t officially given a release date for the show yet, it’s being eyed to hit the streaming platform in either late 2023 or early 2024 (via Collider). It’ll be a while before the missing origin story of Gotham is finally explained in the show, but that’s likely because Reeves wants to ensure that his lore and backstories weave effortlessly into the rest of the franchise. The Penguin is rumored to closely bridge the gap between The Batman and its sequels, so there needs to be plenty of time for this entire universe to be constructed before the show can be finalized and released.
The Penguin TV Show Cast
Farrell will obviously be returning as Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot (aka The Penguin), with a whole new cast of friends and foes at his side to help flesh out this original story. Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother) will also make an appearance as Sofia Falcone, the villainous daughter of Gotham’s previous crimelord Carmine Falcone. The Batman changed several things about Falcone, but he was still portrayed as the greedy criminal that he’s always been in the comics. If his daughter is even remotely similar, she could pose a real threat to Penguin’s attempts to take control of Gotham.
It’s also been reported that Michael Kelly (House of Cards), Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse), and Deirdre O’Connell (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) will play large roles in the series, but their characters haven’t been revealed (via Variety). Since Reeves hasn’t yet discussed which comics or stories he’s drawn inspiration from, it’s impossible to predict which classic DC figures will make appearances in The Penguin — but there’s bound to be some surprises and Easter eggs for long-term fans. Rhenzy Feliz (Runways) has also been cast in the series.
Will Robert Pattinson Be In The Penguin TV Show?
Robert Pattinson’s Batman is rumored to appear in The Penguin, but details haven’t yet been confirmed. Given the interconnected nature of these stories, it would definitely make sense for Pattinson’s Batman to show up, even if it’s only briefly, to connect The Penguin to the story of The Batman. Since nothing has been confirmed yet, it’s safe to assume that Pattinson’s appearance (if genuine) will be a surprise.
The Penguin TV Show Story Details
The details of The Penguin’s narrative remain a mystery, but Reeves has always been adamant that DC’s comics are a hugely important factor when writing these cinematic adaptations, so it’s a safe assumption that it’ll be drawn from these existing stories to some extent. Since Pattinson’s Batman is different from the DCU’s, Reeves will have much more creative freedom when crafting the stories for his movies and shows. He won’t have to worry about connecting this universe to anything else, which means he can stick closely to the source material that he’s always valued highly.
The Batman‘s saw Gotham City flooded after The Riddler’s destructive plan was executed, and this provides Cobblepot with the perfect opportunity to seize control of the ruins. His exact methods and intentions are still unclear, but if Farrell’s Penguin is anything like the one from the comics, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve that power. Though Penguin’s role in The Batman was small, he’s always been a character that works from the shadows and manipulates other people for his own benefit. This is exactly what he’ll be doing in the spin-off show, filling the void in Gotham’s hierarchy that was left after Falcone’s death.
HBO’s Sarah Aubrey has also shed a little light on the narrative of Reeves’ show: “The goal of this 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. 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.” (via Variety)
Is The Penguin Part Of The DCU?
James Gunn’s new announcements about the DCU have confirmed that Reeves’ The Batman (and all related spin-offs like The Penguin) will exist outside of the main continuity under a section labeled ‘Elseworlds’. This means that no existing DCU characters will be appearing in these movies, which immediately shuts down any speculation about potential crossovers with Joker, Justice League, or any other DC properties that have links to Gotham City. This will be a completely separate project with its own story that doesn’t affect that wider DCU in the slightest.
MORE: The Batman’s Penguin Show Is Continuing Reeves’ Best Nolan Villain Change