Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Penguin Cast, Showrunner, Teaser Trailer, Director And More Details

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

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 Max (formerly 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 Gotham? Well, Max officially gave the show the go-ahead in March 2022, and the series was eventually given a release window of 2024. However, "The Penguin" hit a snag when production shut down due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

Fortunately, when the strikes finally ended, "The Penguin" was made a big priority, with Deadline reporting in November 2023 that the show was "on fast track to resume filming." Shortly after, Variety confirmed the show would go back into production after Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed we'll get the series in 2024, but whenever it does finally hit Max, we'll be getting a meaty series, with the first season running for eight episodes. We can't wait to spend all that time following Oz 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."

We also know the shadow of Carmine Falcone will loom over the show. In "The Batman," Falcone (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 stacked with amazing actors giving incredible performances, from Robert Pattinson's Dark Knight to Paul Dano's Riddler, but Colin Farrell stole the spotlight every time he showed up as the Penguin. So, needless to say, the Irish actor is coming back to Gotham and will reprise his role as Oswald Cobblepot.

Who will be joining Farrell in the Penguin spinoff, you ask? Well, 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."

We'll also see Rhenzy Feliz, who's best known as the lead of Hulu's Marvel series "Runaways." The word is he'll be a teenager who winds up working as the Penguin's driver. Clancy Brown of, well, basically everything ("The Shawshank Redemption," "SpongeBob SquarePants," and "Dexter: New Blood," to name a few projects) will star as Salvatore Maroni, a big-deal mobster in Gotham.

Michael Zegen of "The Marvelous Ms. Maisel" fame will play Alberto Falcone, Sofia's sister. Fans of "The Long Halloween" know Alberto plays a pretty sinister role in that particular tale. Rounding out the cast, we have Theo Rossi ("Army of the Dead"), John Cenatiempo ("Tulsa King"), Michael Kelly ("House of Cards"), Shohreh Aghdashloo ("The Expanse"), James Madio ("Band of Brothers), Scott Cohen ("Glimore Girls"), and Deirdre O'Connell ("The Path").

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 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 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."

Is there a trailer for The Penguin?

In April 2023, we were treated to our first glimpse of "Penguin," courtesy of an in-production teaser. The trailer opens with Gotham underwater, courtesy of the Riddler, and we see the Penguin surveying what could become his new empire. "This is one of those moments," we hear him say, "you gotta ask yourself, 'What kind of life do I want?'"

As for Oz, his goals are pretty clear — he wants to be the new kingpin of Gotham, and he'll do whatever it takes to wear the crown. During the teaser, we watch him light up an enemy with an Uzi, find himself on the wrong end of a blade, and dispose of a body with his new driver, played by Alex Wilder. We also see Oz sharing drinks with Sofia Falcone, in what's sure to be an uneasy relationship. Near the end of the trailer, we hear the Penguin's bone-chilling laugh, and we can't wait to see the mobster rise to power.

What is The Penguin rated?

This should probably come as no surprise, but "The Penguin" is rated TV-MA. After all, the show is about uber-violent gangsters, and from the footage we've seen so far, there's a ton of shooting, stabbing, and severe skulduggery. While Oswald Cobblepot's last outing got a PG-13 with "The Batman," evidently the mobster is going to cut loose a little bit now that he's on Max. Basically, this won't be a series for kids, and we're assuming that the body count is going to be pretty high.

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 Max. You can also 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.