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The Batman's Penguin Spinoff - What We Know So Far

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Directed by Matt Reeves, "The Batman" was a breath of fresh air for the superhero genre — a masterfully made DC film that blended noir tropes and horror imagery with real emotions and fleshed-out characters. The movie was a hit with critics and audiences alike, earning praise as one of the best films of 2022 and also $770.8 million at the worldwide box office. Almost immediately, a sequel was given the greenlight, and soon, word came that we'd be getting an entire universe of Reeves-related "Batman" projects.

Perhaps the most interesting project of the bunch is the Penguin spinoff series. The infamous Batman villain played a small but memorable part in the 2022 film, with actor Colin Farrell donning some impressive prosthetics to portray gangster Oswald Cobblepot. Channeling the energy of Robert De Niro, Farrell's Penguin captivated audiences despite his short amount of screen time, but now, we'll get to see his story unfold on HBO Max. If you want to know how the gangster's story will play out, read on for everything we know about the Penguin's spinoff series.

When will the Penguin series be released?

When can we expect to see Oswald Cobblepot unleash his bird-branded reign of terror on the people of Gotham? Well, according to Variety, HBO Max officially gave the show the go-ahead in March 2022. Since then, Collider has reported that the spinoff series will begin filming in January 2023.

Unfortunately, the site also mentioned that the show will probably take a while to shoot, wrapping up in late summer 2023. In other words, Penguin fans, we still have a while to wait, as the series probably won't hit HBO Max until late 2023 or early 2024. But when it does finally arrive, star Colin Farrell has promised a meaty series. Speaking with Collider, the Penguin actor announced, "It'll be, I think, six or eight hours."

So when the Penguin spinoff series eventually does hit HBO Max, fans will be rewarded for their patience. We can't wait to spend six or eight hours following Oswald through Gotham, as he'll no doubt deal with corrupt cops, violently murder his enemies, and cement his hold on the city's underworld.

What is the plot of the Penguin spinoff series?

There's no official plot synopsis yet for the Penguin spinoff series. However, we can piece a few clues together to figure out what the show might be like. 

Firstly, we know when the series will take place. Speaking with Extra (via Variety), star Colin Farrell explained the show would start about a week after the Matt Reeves movie ends. That's important because at the end of "The Batman," Gotham is still dealing with the aftermath of a massive flood caused by Paul Dano's Riddler. "So, Gotham is still, somewhat, underwater," Farrell said. "I read the first script of the first episode, and it opens up on my feet splashing through the water in [Carmine] Falcone's office."

On that note, we know that the shadow of Carmine Falcone will loom over the show. In "The Batman," Falcone — played by the one and only John Turturro — was the most powerful mobster in the city, with numerous politicians and police officers in his pocket. But after being assassinated by the Riddler, he's left a power vacuum that Oswald Cobblepot intends to fill. "Batman" producer Dylan Clark elaborated on this with SFX Magazine (via GamesRadar), saying the show will see "Oz rise to power, almost like a 'Scarface' story."

Of course, as we know that Falcone's daughter, Sofia Falcone, will feature in the series, we're assuming that Cobblepot's rise to power won't be an easy one. But it will definitely allow us to know this iconic Batman villain better, as Farrell said to ComicBook.com, "It's just that it's kind of an amazing character to explore, his kind of awkwardness and his strength and his villainy, yes, his propensity for violence. But there's also a heartbroken man inside there you know, which just makes it really tasty."

Who is starring in the Penguin series?

"The Batman" is absolutely stacked with amazing actors giving incredible performances, from Robert Pattinson's Dark Knight and Zoe Kravitz's Catwoman to Jeffrey Wright's Jim Gordon and Paul Dano's Riddler. But even though these characters got most of the screen time, Colin Farrell stole the spotlight every time he showed up as the Penguin.

So if we were getting a Penguin series in the Matt Reeves universe and Colin Farrell didn't show up ... well ... that would be a huge disappointment. Fortunately, there's no reason to fear, Farrell fans. The Irish actor is coming back to Gotham and will reprise his role as Oswald Cobblepot. While you're waiting for him to slip back into his mafioso character, you can get your Farrell fix by checking out his acclaimed work in recent projects like "After Yang" and "The Banshees of Inisherin."

Who will be joining Farrell in the Penguin spinoff, you ask? Well, we know at least one big name will be showing up on the Gotham City scene. According to Variety, Cristin Milioti will star as Sofia Falcone, the daughter of the late gangster Carmine Falcone. We have no doubt that Milioti will absolutely crush this role, as she's awesome in everything she's in — from the feature "Palm Springs" to shows like "Made for Love" and "The Resort."

Who is the showrunner of the Penguin spinoff?

Matt Reeves, who kickstarted this new universe with 2022's "The Batman," will serve as an executive producer on Penguin's upcoming show. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight (via IndieWire), Farrell explained that Reeves is heavily involved with the series. "He's so obsessive about what he does, but he's all over 'The Penguin.' ... I mean, he's not gonna direct it, but he's all over the structure of the scripts."

Not only is Reeves abstaining from directing, he also won't be the showrunner. So who is? Well, the HBO Max spinoff is in the very capable hands of Lauren LeFranc. LeFranc has plenty of superhero experience, although it's on the other side of the comic book aisle. She served as a producer and writer for Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," and she's also worked on shows like "Impulse," "Chuck," and "Hemlock Grove." When speaking with Extra (via Variety), Colin Farrell had nothing but praise for LeFranc, saying, "[She] has done such an extraordinary job, and she's writing the whole thing and showrunning. She is formidable."

Who is directing The Penguin series?

While Matt Reeves of "The Batman" is very much involved in the Penguin spinoff series, we know for a fact that he won't be directing any of the episodes. So who will be guiding Colin Farrell, Cristin Milioti, and company through the damp streets of Gotham City?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Craig Zobel will be directing at least two episodes of the HBO Max show. Zobel is no stranger to the world of prestige TV, having worked on acclaimed series like "The Leftovers," "American Gods," and "Westworld." Most impressively, he received two Emmy nods for his directing work on the Kate Winslet crime drama "Mare of Easttown."

In addition to his television work, Zobel has directed a handful of films, such as the darkly intense "Compliance," the post-apocalyptic drama "Z for Zachariah," and one of the most controversial movies of recent memory — the satirical horror flick "The Hunt."

Where to watch The Batman

According to the Penguin himself, Colin Farrell, Oswald Cobblepot's spinoff series will take place in the immediate aftermath of Matt Reeves' "The Batman." In fact, the actor has promised that Gotham will still be flooded thanks to the Riddler's plan to drown the city. In other words, the two projects are closely connected, so it might be a good idea to go revisit (or check out for the first time) the 2022 film to see how the Penguin, the Falcone crime family, and Gotham got to where they are now.

If you want to stream the highly acclaimed superhero film, "The Batman" is available on both HBO Max and DIRECTV. You can also pay $3.99 to rent the movie on sites such as Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, and YouTube. Come for the Penguin's backstory and that incredible car chase, stay for one of the best Batman movie ever made.