We're still a matter of months away from the release of The Batman, but it looks like Warner Bros. is already betting big on its version of Gotham City. According to a new report from Variety, a spinoff series surrounding the film's version of Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin (Colin Farrell), is currently in early development for Warner Bros.' HBO Max streaming service. Farrell is reportedly in talks to reprise his role for the spinoff, but a deal is not currently in place. The series would follow Penguin's rise to power in Gotham's criminal underworld, with Agents of SHIELD and Impulse alum Lauren LeFranc attached to write the script. Matt Reeves, who is directing and co-writing The Batman, would executive produce, alongside the film's producer, Dylan Clark.
If this series comes to fruition, it would mark the second time that The Penguin's story was explored on live-action television, after the character was also portrayed by Robin Lord Taylor on Fox's Gotham. The role was also previously played by Danny DeVito in Batman Returns. While Farrell's version of the character has only appeared in the film's marketing for a few brief seconds, it's already caught attention for its surprising use of prosthetics — so much so that the actor apparently wasn't recognized on set.
"I've worked with that makeup artist before and it's just incredible," Jeffrey Wright, who plays Commissioner Jim Gordon in the film, explained in an interview with SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show last year. "Colin walked on to set one day and I walked right passed him [laughs] I was like 'ok, hey dude what's happening? Where's Colin? Are we going to shoot.' It was, it's pretty remarkable."
This would also be the second potential HBO Max spinoff series to The Batman, with the streamer also developing a series surrounding the Gotham City Police Department. The streamer already has a number of original projects planned around the DC Universe, joining existing shows Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn, Young Justice, and Titans. These include The Suicide Squad spinoff series Peacemaker, DC Super Hero High, DMZ, Justice League Dark, Strange Adventures, Green Lantern and series surrounding John Constantine and Madame Xanadu. On the movie side, the streamer is developing Batgirl, Black Canary, Blue Beetle, and Static Shock.
What do you think of HBO Max developing a Penguin spinoff series of The Batman? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
The Batman is currently expected to be released on March 4, 2022.